The team representative of the Brazilian Confederation continued its dominance at the XLVI edition of the South American Championships that ended in Lima on June 21. Brazil topped the medal table with 16 gold, 20 silver and 17 bronze, and collected 446 points in the general classification (204 men; 242 women). Brazil finished ahead of Colombia which collected 275 points (98; 177), and Argentina which had 138.5 (88.5; 50).
The best performance on the winning team in the closing day was provided by long jumper Keila Costa, who took the title with 6.62/0.4, ahead of Colombian Johanna Triviño (6.45/1.2), and compatriot Fernanda Gonçalves (6.27/0.0).
This is the second South American gold for the 26-year-old from Recife, after the one obtained in 2003. Costa has reached the final of the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, the 2008 World Indoor Championships in Valencia, and the past Beijing Olympic Games.
“We are pleased with the result,” said Nélio Moura, Costa’s coach, who is also the coach of both 2008 Olympic Long Jump champions, Panama’s Irving Saladino and Brazilian Maurren Maggi.
“At the end of the 2007 Keila had to switch her take-off leg from the right to the left due to an injury, so I feel we continue to make progress after the complex change,” added Moura. “Coming here, I was hoping to see some consistency in Keila’s results, and I feel this is a proof of that. The mark from today is worth to qualify to a World Championship final, so giving the time of the year where we are, I feel that’s great. Keila should be ready for the Berlin final, and there we can expect to see someone who can put up a great fight,” concluded Moura.
Costa’s next step will the “Jogos da Lusofonia” (Portuguese speaking countries’ Games), to be held in Lisboa in 12-13 July. Then the athlete will remain in Europe in preparation for the Berlin World Championships.
Race walking record for López
Colombian Luis Fernando López commenced the new era for South American race walking by taking the first title in the post-Jefferson Pérez time. López also erased one record achieved by the great Ecuadorian, who among many honours has the 1996 Olympic gold, 2008 silver, and three World Championships titles.
Thirty year-old López, ninth in the Beijing Games, walked to a track record at the 20,000m in 1:20:53.9, to cut 1 exact second from the previous best set by Pérez in Cali on 5 July 2008. López’s previous best in track was 1:23:43.2 (2005), while his best on the road is 1:20:26, also set in Lima, at the 2005 Pan American Cup.
López, born in San Juan de Pasto, Department of Nariño, is coached by former race walking athlete Luis Fernando Roso.
“We came to Lima with the goal of achieving a time close to 1:20:30, so this is not an accident,” said Roso. “We now have the responsibility of filling the vacant space left by someone as great as Jefferson Pérez, who has been a great influence for race walking in South America. He changed our approach towards training techniques and other methods of scientific support. We will try to get close to his marks, but will be very difficult to get close to all his achievements. This is a first good step, and we are now very confident heading to Berlin,” expressed Roso.
After crossing the 10,000m mark in 40:27, López had no opposition from the rest of the field. “He went solo for almost the entire race. We expected to face Ecuadorian Rolando Saquipay, but he didn’t come,” ended Roso. Chilean Yerko Araya was second with a NR of 1:23:08.2, while Ecuadorian Patricio Ortega was third with a PB of 1:23:30.9.
Edward emerges as the new sprinting star
Panama may not have a track at this moment; yet, the country keeps on producing athletics talent, and the newest jewel is 19-year-old sprinter Alonso Edward.
The Panama City native completed a double in Lima after winning the 200m in 20.45 (wind nil), his third time ever after the 20.34 NR set in Hutchinson, Kansas, on 23 May. On 20 June Edward had won the 100m in 10.29. Both titles are the first for Panama at those events in the history of the Championships.
Edward attended the Barton Community College in Great Bend, Kansas, this past season. But the impressive results achieved there under the guidance of coach Matt Kane (10.09 NR and 9.97w at 100m on top of the 20.34 at 200m), have convinced him to drop his college eligibility and to run in the international circuit.
Edward is 1.83m tall and weighs 78Kg. He was discovered by Professor Berna, and later coached in Panama by Cecilio Woodruf.
His 200m victory came by a wide margin. Edward left Brazilians Hugo de Souza (20.92) and Bruno de Barros (20.93), in a distant second and third place.
“I will head to Europe now, to get a few more races, as we approach Berlin, but I will keep training with Matt Kane in Kansas in the future,” said Edward.
Doubles by Piedra, Silva, Lauro, González García and Melchor
Besides Edward, five other athletes obtained double victories on Sunday. Ecuadorian Bayron Piedra won the 5000m (13:56.93), to add that gold to the one at 1500m.
Uruguayan Andrés Silva took the 400m hurdles in 50.28. He also had won the 400m.
Argentina’s Germán Lauro won the Discus with a SB of 60.41, ahead of record holder Jorge Balliengo. Lauro had also won the Shot Put with a SB of 19.20 on 20 June.
Colombians Norma González and Rosibel García also had two gold medals in Lima. González, bronze medalist at 400m in the 2000 World Junior Championships, took the 200m in 23.73, after winning the 400 on 20 June. While García triumphed at 800 (2:05.21), after winning the 1500m.
Peruvian Inés Melchor was the local hero, and to the 5000m gold obtained on Saturday, she added the 10,000m one, reached with a Championship record of 33:11.79.
In the Shot Put, Chilean Natalia Ducó, the 2008 World Junior Champion, upset the eight-time-champion and South American record holder, Brazilian Elisângela Adriano. Ducó threw 17.73 in the second round, to clearly beat Adriano (16.63).
The next edition of the South American Championships will take place in Buenos Aires in 2011.
Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF
1 Alonso Edward PAN 20.45
2 Hugo de Souza BRA 20.92
3 Bruno de Barros BRA 20.93
1 Fabiano Peçanha BRA 1:47.82
2 Kléberson Davide BRA 1:49.33
3 Nico Herrera VEN 1:49.53
1 Bayron Piedra ECU 13:56.93
2 Mario Bazán PER 13:57.37
3 Damião de Souza BRA 13:57.94
1 Andrés Silva URU 50.28
2 Raphael Fernandes BRA 50.42
3 Yeison Rivas COL 50.87
1 Rogério Bispo BRA 7.77/-0.8
2 Erivaldo Vieira BRA 7.61/-0.3
3 Hugo Chila ECU 7.51/-0.2
1 Germán Lauro ARG 60.41
2 Jorge Balliengo ARG 58.04
3 Ronald Julião BRA 54.97
1 Carlos Eduardo Chinin BRA 7474 [11.07/0.0 7.10/0.8 13.51 1.96 49.63 (3980/1) 14.88/-0.8 40.59 4.40 53.30 4:55.87
2 Oscar Mina ECU 6659 [10.92/0.0 6.44/0.7 11.86 1.96 49.67 (3757/2) 16.75/-0.8 38.82 3.50 48.04 4:58.57
3 Fernando Korniejczuk ARG [11.67/0.0 6.58/0.8 11.85 1.90 53.66 (3398/4) 15.46/-0.8 36.00 4.10 49.86 5:11.39
1 COL (Rivas, Valoyes, Torres, Mosquera) 3:06.22
2 BRA (Ambrósio, Vasconcelos, Bargas, Vieira) 3:06.85
3 ARG (Larregle, Wilken, Deymonnaz, Jiménez) 3:11.70
1 Luis Fernando López COL 1:20:53.6* AR
2 Yerko Araya CHI 1:23:08.2 NR
3 Patricio Ortega ECU 1:23:30.9
1 Norma González COL 23.73
2 Thaíssa Presti BRA 23.85
3 Jennifer Padilla COL 24.23
1 Rosibel García COL 2:05.21
2 Josiane Tito BRA 2:06.66
3 Christiane dos Santos BRA 2:06.72
1 Inés Melchor PER 33:11.79*
2 Cruz Nonata da Silva BRA 33:36.60
3 Sueli Silva BRA 33:47.15
1 Lucimar Teodoro BRA 56.32*
2 Luciana França BRA 56.53
3 Madelene Rondón VEN 58.29
1 Keila Costa BRA 6.62/0.4
2 Johana Triviño COL 6.45/1.2
3 Fernanda Gonçalves BRA 6.27/0.0
1 Johanna Triviño COL 14.02/-0.1
2 Caterine Ibargüen COL 13.93/0.5
3 Verónica Davis VEN 13.83/0.7
1 Natalia Ducó CHI 17.73
2 Elisângela Adriano BRA 16.63
3 Andréa Pereira BRA 16.16
1 BRA (Coutinho, S. Ferreira, de Lima, Pinheiro) 3:32.69
2 COL (López, González, Padilla, Idrobo) 3:35.83
3 ECU (Caicedo, Chávez, Corozo, Jaramillo) 3:45.99
* Championship record
1 BRA 446 pts (204 men; 242 women)
2 COL 275 (98; 177)
3 ARG 138.5 (88.5; 50)
4 ECU 111 (64; 47)
5 PER 91 (51; 40)
6 CHI 87 (42; 45)
7 VEN 73.5 (49.5; 24)
8 PAN 25 (20; 5)
1 BRA 16-20-17; 53
2 COL 14-9-4; 27
3 ARG 3-4-8; 15
4 ECU 3-2-6; 11
5 PER 3-1-2; 6
6= PAN, URU 2-0-0; 2
8 CHI 1-5-1; 7