South American athletics enjoyed one of its most memorable weeks in the high altitude of Cochamamba as three continental, 27 national and 24 championship records fell at the 11th South American Games at Estadio Municipal in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
Encouraged by the city’s high altitude (2,570m), sprinters led the way with superb performances as Panama’s Alonso Edwards and Ecuador’s Angela Tenorio won the 100m in respective championship records of 10.01 and 11.01.
Edwards, the 2009 world 200m silver medallist, now wants to become the first South American athlete to break the 10-second barrier.
“The track is very fast and the stadium is beautiful,” he said. “I am surprised to see one of the best stadia in Latin America and I hope they put on another meet to come back.”
After finishing second to Edwards in the 100m with an equal national record of 10.09, Ecuador’s Alex Quinonez stormed to the record books in 200m with an impressive 19.93 to become the third fastest South American men ever at the distance.
Just over a month after lowering his national record to 20.14, the 2012 Olympic finalist led three other men to fast times: Brazil’s 100m bronze medallist Victor Hugo Silva Mourao dos Santos (20.21), Colombia’s Bernardo Baloyes (20.28) and Brazil’s Aldemir Gomes da Silva Junior (20.30).
World bronze medallist Robeilys Peinado elevated her South American U23 pole vault record to 4.70m as Argentina’s Joaquín Gómez did in the hammer with a 75.10m effort.
Colombia’s María Fernanda Murillo continued on a good path to the IAAF World U20 Championships Tampere 2018 by equalling the South American U20 high jump record of 1.90m she set in late April at home.
Four national records were broken in the horizontal jumps. Uruguay’s world and Olympic finalist Emiliano Lasa landed at 8.26m in the long jump. Paola Mautino also excelled in the women’s field with 6.66m to win the long jump and added another national record in the 100m (11.76) to lead Peru to one of its best performances ever in the Games.
Nubia Soares rewrote the Brazilian record in the triple jump with 14.59m and Miguel van Assen jumped to a historic gold for Surinam. With the second-best leap of his career (16.81m), the 2014 Youth Olympic Games champion gave Surinam its third gold medal at the Games and the first one in 28 years.
Fifth at the 2016 Olympic Games and fourth at the 2018 World Indoor Championships, Brazilian shot putter Darlan Romani continued with his best season so far by adding another area title to his career in a Games record of 21.21m. Darlani is only five centimetres shy of becoming the first South American to reach the 22-metre mark.
Argentina added two more gold in the 400m hurdles. Guillermo Ruggeri lowered his national record to 49.28 and celebrated his girlfriend and training mate Fiorella Chiappe’s victory in the women’s event with 56.39.
Brazil narrowly beat Colombia in the medal tally with both countries separated by just four bronze medals: Brazil (9-9-9) and Colombia (9-9-5). Peru finished a solid third with 15 medals (6-7-2), ahead of Venezuela (6-4-4). 13 of the 14 participating countries won at least one medal, including a historic 10-medal crop for the host nation.
Colombia made history as they topped Brazil in the overall medal tally by four gold medals.
Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF