Dayron Robles of Cuba storms the 110m Hurdles gold in wet conditions in Rio (© AFP / Getty Images)
Under rainy and difficult conditions, athletics closed its track and field competitions of the XV Pan-American Games of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday 28 July at the “Estádio João Havelange”, with a world class performance by Cuban Dayron Robles, who won the 110m Hurdles in 13.25 (wind 0.4).
Robles, a 20-year-old from Guantánamo, dominated the field from the gun, and only seemed bothered by the slippery conditions of the track. Yet, his victory margin was of 18/100 over American David Payne, in spite of almost similar season’s best (13.11 for Robles and 13.12 for Payne).
Robles became the fourth Cuban to win the 110m Hurdles at the Pan-Am Games. The others had been Alejandro Casañas in 1975, Anier García in 1999 and Yunier Hernández in 2003. Here in Rio and 4 years later, Hernández was third with 13.50.
It was a 4-day-gold haul for Cuba, and there was another brilliant victory from Yeiman López at 800m. The 24-year-old took the men’s 2-lap-event in a Games’ record time of 1:44.58, despite the wet conditions.
Brazilians Fabiano Peçanha and Kléberson Davide decided to set a fast pace, and went 1-2 at the bell (51.28 by Peçanha). López was always alert and with them with the rest of the field behind.
The Cuban attacked at the 550m mark with unusual strength (has a 45.11 400m personal best) and ended up with the victory by a great margin. Defending champion Achraf Tadili from Canada got in the mix with 200m to go, but both Brazilians were stronger and closed the race in second and third. Davide with a PB of 1:45.47 and Peçanha with a season’s best of 1:45.54, all ahead of the Canadian (1:46.07).
López moved to the third place of the 800m Cuban all-time lists (1:42.85 Norberto Téllez ’96; 1:43.44 Alberto Juantorena ’77) and became Cuba’s second winner at the event, after Luis Medina’s victory from 1975.
Gregório takes Triple Jump – 4 golds for Brazil in final day
In the Triple Jump, Brazilian Jadel Gregório gave the crowd a big moment when he won with a 17.27m (0.5m/s wind) jump on his second attempt. Gregório became the third Brazilian to win the Pan-Am title along with Adhemar Ferreira da Silva (1951, ’55, ’59) and João Carlos de Oliveira (1975, ’79). He also interrupted a sequence of 4 Cuban consecutive victories after 3 from Yoelbi Quesada (’91, ’95, ’99) and 1 from Yoandri Betanzos (2003).
Cuban Osniel Tosca was second with 16.92/0.1 and Betanzos was third with 16.90/0.7.
The rain made it almost impossible for Pole Vaulting. South American record holder Fábio Gomes da Silva, was able to adapt to the wet conditions better and cleared 5.40m in his final attempt to become the first Brazilian to capture the gold at this event.
Mexican Giovanni Lanaro was second with 5.30 and Germán Chiaraviglio from Argentina third with 5.20. Only 4 athletes were able to clear a height. The other was Dominic Johnson (LCA) at 4.90.
7 men posted a ‘No Mark’. Among those were Americans Derek Miles and Jeremy Scott, leaving the US outside of the medals at the event for the first time in the Games history. American vaulters won the event in 13 of the 15 times it has been contested at the Pan-Am Games.
The USA found some redemption in the 3000m Steeplechase with a 1-2 by Josh McAdams and Michael Spence. The latter set the pace throughout the race with 2:49.99 and 5:42.93, and in the final lap McAdams was the fastest to win in 8:30.49 over 8:32.11 from Spence.
This was the first US victory at the event since 1979 when Henry Marsh and William McCullough also topped the podium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Cuban José Alberto Sánchez was third in a pb of 8:36.07, earning the second medal for his country at the event after the bronze from Juan Ramón Conde in Havana ’91.
In the Discus Throw, another downgraded event due to the rain, American Michael Robertson took the gold with his 59.24m from the first round. Compatriot Adam Kuehl made it 1-2 with his 57.50 throw from round 3, while Canada’s Dariusz Slowik was third with 57.37.
In similar conditions in the Javelin Throw, Cuba’s Guillermo Martínez reaffirmed his favouritism by taking the victory with a 77.66 performance from the fifth round. In a tough night for the javelin to fly, American Mike Hazle was second with a sb of 75.33. Brazilian Alexon Maximiano got himself a place in the podium with 75.04.
Second Race Walking gold for Ecuador
The men’s 50Km Race Walk provided a surprising victory for Ecuadorian Xavier Moreno in a South American record time of 3:52:07. Mexican Horacio Nava dominated the event held in the morning hours at the Parque do Flamengo for most of its extension.
Nava had splits of 46:44, 1:32:12, 2:17:09 and 3:02:39 at 10, 20, 30 and 40Km, but seemed with no strength left in the final stages of the race and was surpassed by Moreno within the last lap. Nava’s time was 3:52:35. Omar Zepeda, also from Mexico, was third with 3:56.04. Moreno’s gold medal was the second for Ecuador in Rio, the other one also coming from the Race Walk, thanks to Jefferson Pérez (20Km).
Sabine Heitling from Brazil gave its country the gold medal in the Games inaugural women’s 3000m Steeplechase with a PB of 9:51.13.
Also Brazilian Zenaide Vieira went ahead at 1000m (3:12.44). American Desiraye Osburn-Speer was the leader at 2000m (6:39.62), but Heitling’s determination in the final lap, along with some mistakes by Vieira, were the key for the victory of the Santa Catarina-born athlere.
Mexican Talis Apud captured the silver medal with a national record of 9:55.43, just ahead of South American record holder Vieira (9:55.71), who gave up running before crossing the finish lane.
At the Relays, Brazil, in a very good team display, took the men’s 4x100 in 38.81, while at the 4x400 Bahamas used a 44.83 final lap from 400m champion Chris Brown to stay clear of the US and the Dominican Republic with 3:01.94.
In the women’s 4x100m, the US team had problems at the final exchange between Alexis Weatherspoon and 100m champion Mikele Barber, and lost the race to Jamaica 43.58 to 43.62. Cuba won the 4x400 thanks to the final lap in 51.01 by Indira Terrero. Mexico captured the silver medal in a NR time of 3:27.75, helped by a 49.4 final lap by 400m champion Ana Gabriela Guevara.
The Athletics events will end with Sunday’s Men’s Marathon (29).
Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF
Results – Day 6
1 Yeimar López CUB 1:44.58 *
2 Kléberson Davide BRA 1:45.47
3 Fabiano Peçanha BRA 1:45.54
4 Achraf Tadili CAN 1:46.07
5 Andy González CUB 1:47.06
6 Aldwyn Sappleton JAM 1:47.14
7 Gustavo Aguirre ARG 1:47.23
8 David Freeman PUR 1:47.31
1 Josh McAdams USA 8:30.49
2 Michael Spence USA 8:32.11
3 José Alberto Sánchez CUB 8:36.07
4 Gládson Barbosa BRA 8:40.32
5 Mario Bazán PER 8:44.70 NR
6 Celso Ficagna BRA 8:45.94
7 Santiago Figueroa ARG 8:46.06
8 Alexander Greaux PUR 8:59.47
110m Hurdles (0.4)
1 Dayron Robles CUB 13.25
2 David Payne USA 13.43
3 Yoel Hernández CUB 13.50
4 Ryan Brathwaite BAR 13.70
5 Anselmo da Silva BRA 13.72
6 Eric Keddo JAM 13.91
7 Bashir Ramzy USA 14.09
8 Héctor Cotto PUR 14.09
1 Fábio da Silva BRA 5.40
2 Giovanni Lanaro MEX 5.30
3 Germán Chiaraviglio ARG 5.20
4 Dominic Johnson LCA 4.90
Derek Miles USA, Lázaro Borges CUB, Robison Pratt MEX, Javier Benítez ARG, José Francisco Nava CHI, Jeremy Scott USA, João Gabriel Sousa BRA NM
1 Jadel Gregório BRA 17.27/0.5
2 Osniel Tosca CUB 16.92/0.1
3 Yoandri Betanzos CUB 16.90/0.7
4 Jefferson Sabino BRA 16.81/0.4
5 Lawrence Williams USA 16.72/0.7
6 Leevan Sands BAH 16.67/1.4
7 Randy Lewis GRN 16.42/0.0
8 Ayata Joseph ANT 15.73/0.8
1 Michael Robertson USA 59.24
2 Adam Kuehl USA 57.50
3 Dariusz Slowik CAN 57.37
4 Germán Lauro ARG 56.08
5 Yunio Lastre CUB 54.80
6 Ronald Julião BRA 54.36
7 Adonson Shallow VIN 54.03
8 Julián Angulo COL 50.79
1 Guillermo Martínez CUB 77.66
2 Mike Hazle USA 75.33
3 Alexon Maximiano BRA 75.04
4 Víctor Fatecha PAR 72.30
5 Noraldo Palacios COL 71.14
6 Pablo Pietrobelli ARG 70.62
7 Justin St. Clair USA 68.48
8 Júlio César de Oliveira BRA 67.92
1 BRA (V. de Lima, R. Ribeiro, B. Morães, Viana) 38.81
2 CAN (Adu-Robie, Henry, Connaughton, Barnett) 38.87
3 USA (Samuels, Edwards, Williams, Patton) 38.88
4 TRI 39.23
5 CUB 39.46
6 AHO 39.83
7 BAH 39.91
8 SKN 40.20
1 BAH (Williams, Moncur, Matheau, Brown) 3:01.94
2 USA (Nixon, Torrance, Bennett, Neville) 3:02.44
3 DOM (Santa, Peguero, Tapia, Sánchez) 3:02.48
4 TRI 3:03.60
5 JAM 3:04.15
6 BRA 3:05.87
7 PUR 3:06.22
8 GUA 3:17.89
1 Xavier Moreno ECU 3:52:07 AR
2 Horacio Nava MEX 3:52:35
3 Omar Zepeda MEX 3:56:04
4 Salvador Mira ESA 3:59:51 NR
5 Luis García GUA 4:01:36
6 Fredy Hernández COL 4:03:10
7 Cláudio dos Santos BRA 4:14:38
8 Philip Dunn USA 4:15:47
1 Sabine Heitling BRA 9:51.13 *
2 Talis Apud MEX 9:55.43 NR
3 Zenaide Vieira BRA 9:55.71
4 Desiraye Osburn-Speer USA 9:59.11
5 Kristin Anderson USA 10:08.67
6 Ángela Figueroa COL 10:14.92 (only 6 athletes started)
1 JAM 43.58 (Brooks, Rowe, Bailey, Dowdie)
2 USA 43.62 (Woods, Lewis, Weatherspoon, Barber)
3 CUB 43.80 (Benevídes, Díaz, Lazo, Tejeda)
4 PUR 43.81 NR
5 SKN 44.14
6 BRA 44.14
7 TRI 44.33
1 CUB (Martínez, Pernía, Calatayud, Terrero) 3:27.51
2 MEX (Rugerio, Medina, Rodríguez, Guevara) 3:27.75
3 USA (Dunn, Perkins, Wilson, Leach) 3:37.84
4 JAM 3:28.74
5 BRA 3:28.89
6 CAN 3:32.37
7 TRI 3:39.67
8 ECU 3:43.88
* Games record