Brazilian Fabiano Peçanha (BRA) after his 800m win - South American Champs (Luis Alfonso Ramirez) © Copyright
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Argentinean Jennifer Dahlgren, a student at the University of Georgia, produced the first South American record of 2007, by improving her own mark in the Hammer Throw, with a toss of 72.94m on 13 April 2007, at the Spec Towns Meet in Athens, Georgia. The mark also betters her own NCAA record.

For the 22-year-old Dahlgren, competing on the last year of US college eligibility, this is the tenth improvement to the area record. The previous mark, 72.01m, had been set in Greensboro, North Carolina, on 27 May 2006. Last season, Dahlgren also took the NCAA title in Sacramento (69.00m), the South American in Tunja, Colombia (69.07m) and the South American U-23 in Buenos Aires (66.48m).

Her series for the victory in Athens was: 65.98, 71.84, 72.17, 72.94, 68.54 and 70.87.

At the Georgia Bulldogs web page, her coach Don Babbit expressed his happiness. “I think she had a very good overall meet. This was the first time she has gone over 70 metres more than once in a meet. Her training had shown an indication of this type of performance and I still think there are bigger things to come.”

Dahlgren also spoke to the UGA web page. “I struggled at the beginning of the season to find my rhythm, but I have had some good practices and encouragement from my friends in the crowd today.  I felt like I was able to have fun and after my first 70-metre throw, I was able to relax and have a couple more good throws”.

South American Grand Prix passed through Uruguay

As the season keeps evolving, the South American GP does so too. Last week, Uruguay witnessed its 2 stops at San Carlos, the “Jorge Echezarreta” meet (12 April), and Montevideo, the “Memorial Darwin Piñeyrúa” (13, 14, 15 April).

At San Carlos, the best performances came from Colombians Rosibel García (4:23.9 at 1500m) and Freddy Espinosa (8:19.00 at 3000m), Venezuelan Rosa Rodríguez (61.72m at HT) and Argentinean Juan Ignacio Cerra (72.46m at HT, with Chilean Patricio Palma in second place setting a new national record with 67.64m). The best 2 local athletes, Heber Viera and Andrés Silva - the 2003 World Youth Octathlon champion - won in the 200 and 400m (20.85/nwi and 46.83).

In Montevideo, Silva repeated his triumph 400m over Brazilian Sanderlei Parrela (46.78 to 47.18), and also added a 400mh victory (50.51), while Viera took the 100 and 200m (10.65/-1.3 and 20.97/0.1). On the field, the best performance, once again, belonged to Cerra in the HT (70.73m).

The female side saw the victories of Brazilian Geisa Coutinho at 100, 200 and 400m (12.1/0.1, 24.71/-1.1 and 53.95), Rosibel García at 800 and 1500m (2:05.44 and 4:22.0) and Rosa Rodríguez (60.82m at HT).

The next events of the regional Grand Prix will be in Paraguay (William Rivarola meet, 21 April) and 3 stops in Chile: Valparaíso, 22 April; San Fernando, 25 April; and “Memorial Orlando Guaita” at Santiago, 28 April.

Young Natalia Ducó improves the Chilean SP record

Seventeen year-old Natalia Ducó, the new sensation of Chilean athletics, bettered the Shot Put national record on 14 April with 16.51m at the meet “Los Mejores de Chile” in Santiago.

Ducó, a finalist at the 2006 IAAF World Junior Championships in Beijing erased the previous record that belonged to Marianne Berndt (16.39m ’03). Her previous best was 16.36m, set in Buenos Aires on 11 November 2006). She is coached by the great Cuban thrower Dulce Margarita García, former 1991 Pan-American Games Champion at the Javelin.

Brazilian activity

At the third stop of the “Copa Gaúcha” in Porto Alegre, 2005 World University Games champion Fabiano Peçanha set an impressive time at the 800m for a season that’s only beginning: 1:46.1 (5 April).

Then, in São Paulo, on 14 April, at a Paulista Federation meet, Vicente Lenílson de Lima clocked 10.25 at 100m (0.7 m/s wind), ahead of José Carlos Gomes Moreira (10.31).

Thirty-eight year-old Osmar dos Santos took the 800m in 1:48.48, while Éder Souza dominated the 110mh while setting a pb of 13.60 (0.6 m/s), ahead of Thiago Castelo Branco (13.68, after a 13.64/1.7 pb from the heats).

Maurício Teixieira won the 400m Hurdles (50.39), while on the field, the best was Leonardo Elisiário dos Santos with a windy 16.68m TJ (2.4), backed by a legal jump of 16.64m/0.8.

On the women’s side, Lucimar Moura took the 100m in 11.57 (-1.4), Thaíssa Barbosa Presti the 200 in 24.00 (-3.4), and Sheila Ferreira set a pb at 400m with 52.96.

Josiane Tito won the 800m in 2:04.08, while Gilvaneide Parrela took the 100mh in 13.61/0.7, after running a windy 13.25/2.5 in the heats. At 400m Hurdles, the South American record holder, Lucimar Teodoro won in 58.62.

On the field, the best were Eliana Silva (1.84 at HJ), Laurice Félix (13.71/-1.4 at TJ) and Elisângela Adriano with 16.56m and 56.01m at SP and DT.

The next meet in São Paulo will be on 18 April, and Maurren Maggi is scheduled to go in the LJ, while the beach resort of Camboriú (Santa Catarina) will host the 13th edition of the Pan-American Race Walking Cup on 21 and 22 April.

Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF