Fabiana Murer on the way to her 4.60m meet record at the South American Championships (Eduardo Biscayart) © Copyright
Report 20 June 2009 – Lima, Peru

Murer vaults 4.60m at South American Championships – Day 1 report

Lima, PeruBrazilian pole vaulter Fabiana Murer produced the best performance of Day 1 of the 46th South American Championships that commenced in Lima on 19 June at the track of the “Villa Deportiva Nacional”. The event ends on Sunday (21).

The 28-year-old Murer was a class apart from the rest of the field, and won with a championship record of 4.60m, yet providing a few scares among her coaching staff.

Murer, the South American record holder with 4.82m (Rio de Janeiro, 7 June 2009) and bronze medallist of the 2008 IAAF World Indoor Championships, struggled to clear her opening height of 4.40m, and only did it in her third attempt. Later on she showed her current great form and cleared 4.51m and 4.60m, both Championship record heights in her first try, to later foul her three attempts at 4.70m.

“My last jump at 4.70m was the best of the day, and I was very close to clearing it,” said the native of Campinas. “I hit the bar on my way down, but I’m pleased with the result. We came here looking for a Championship record, and we go back home with that.

“I was a bit tired after jumping in Berlin (14 June), where I was third with 4.68m, and with all the traveling I had to do in a few days. Now I will have one week to rest in São Paulo before heading back to Europe to compete in Oslo. My goal is to be consistent heading into the World Championships, and to hope for a good result there. But I’m in great form, so we may see further improvements to the South American record.”

The continental title obtained in Lima is Murer’s third, after victories in 2006 and 2007. Chilean Carolina Torres, and former record holder Alejandra García from Argentina, completed the podium, both with 4.10m marks.

Melchor's 5000m a joy for home crowd

The event will provide automatic qualification to the World championships for those champions crowned in Lima, whether they have met IAAF standards or not, and among those could be Peruvian runner Inés Melchor, who brilliantly won the 5000m with a National record of 16:00.41, providing great joy for the home crowd.

Melchor obtained her first title at the Championships, after twice winning the Cross Country crown. This is Peru’s first female gold since Marilú Salazar won the 3000m in 1993, by coincidence, also in Lima. It is also the 11th title won by a female Peruvian athlete in the history of the event. Besides Salazar, the others were Julia Sánchez (two times at 100m), Martha Huby (two, one at 100m, and one at 200m), María Luisa Vilca (one at 100m), Carmela Bolívar (one at 100m), Edith Noeding (two at 100m Hurdles), and Patricia Guerrero (one at Javelin).

Melchor set a quick pace from the beginning of the race (3:14 at 1000m), and distanced herself from the rest after two kilometres. Later on, Melchor declared “I could have run faster, if I had a stronger opposition, but still, I’m very happy with the victory.” Now, the 21-year-old Melchor will attempt to complete the 5000/10,000m double on Sunday.

Colombian Moreno upsets Dahlgren in the Hammer

Argentina’s Jennifer Dahlgren, the South American record holder, was the favourite in the Hammer Throw, but a strong cold and flu tampered with her chances of victory. The University of Georgia alum, who has a best of 72.94m (’07), and has thrown 72.79m this season, only managed 63.81m in her only valid throw of the day. Dahlgren was beaten by Colombian Eli Johana Moreno (65.79m), and Chilean Odette Palma (64.55m NR). This is the second South American title for the 24-year-old Moreno.

Her compatriot Rosibel García was also triumphant in the 1500m with 4:20.30, after deciding the race in its final stages. It was García’s third title at the distance, as Colombia emerges as a very strong opponent to Brazil in the female classification.

Brazil’s second gold medal of the day was brought by Alessandra Resende at the Javelin with a 56.36m toss. This is the fourth victory in a row for Resende, who’s only the second female javelin thrower to achieve that feat in the history of the Championships. The other one was Chilean Marlene Ahrens, silver medalist at the 1956 Olympic Games, who was crowned in 1956, ‘58, ‘61 and ’63.

Ecuadorian Bayron Piedra also retained his 2007 title, in this case at 1500m, with 3:41.81. Showing a strong display over the last 300m, Piedra defeated the South American record-holder, Brazilian Hudson de Souza (3:42.72).

The Heptathlon commenced on 19 June, and the South American record holder, Brazilian Lucimara da Silva is in the lead with 3503 points, ahead of the South American junior record holder, compatriot Vanessa Spinola, who has obtained 3356 points, and is 78 points behind the pace of the 5763 record set at the Troféu Brasil, in Bragança Paulista on 30-31 May.

This is the seventh time that Peru (always in Lima) has been the venue of the oldest Area Championships in the world of athletics. The inaugural edition of the South American Championships were staged in Montevideo in 1919. Up to today, Santiago de Chile was the city that hosted the event the most with seven.

Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF

Leading Results – day 1
46th South American Championships (35th for women)
Lima, 19 June
1 Bayron Piedra ECU 3:41.81
2 Hudson de Souza BRA 3:42.72
3 Eduar Villanueva VEN 3:43.23
1 Rosibel García COL 4:20.30
2 Muriel Coneo COL 4:23.38
3 Rosa Godoy ARG 4:23.63
1 Inés Melchor PER 16:00.41 NR
2 Sueli Silva BRA 16:14.95
3 Rosa Alba Chacha ECU 16:17.75
1 Fabiana Murer BRA 4.60 *
2 Carolina Torres CHI 4.10
3 Alejandra García ARG 4.10
1 Eli Johana Moreno COL 65.79
2 Odette Palma CHI 64.55 NR
3 Jennifer Dahlgren ARG 63.81
1 Alessandra Resende BRA 56.36
2 Jucilene de Lima BRA 54.37
3 Diana Rivas COL 52.83
Heptathlon – Day 1
Lucimara da Silva BRA 3503 (13.44/-0.6 1.79 11.05 25.07/-1.0)
Vanessa Spinola BRA 3356 (14.43/-0.6 1.64 13.41 24.86/-1.0)
Soledad Donzino ARG 3231 (13.53/-0.6 1.67 10.07 25.60)

* Championship record