Maurren Maggi at the 1999 Pan American Games (© Getty Images)
Brazilian long jumper Maurren Maggi blew kisses to the crowd and paraded flags of her native country and host Canada as she celebrated Brazil's first gold medal of the Pan American Games on Saturday.
The 23-year-old multi-sport athlete never challenged her season-leading jump of 7.26 metres, but she had the gold medal won from the opening jump of 6.56 metres and eventually won at 6.59 metres.
"This win is very important for the Brazilian team. Now I hope the other Brazilian athletes follow me," said Maggi, whose pride in her country was vividly on display.
Miniature Brazilian flags dangled from her ears and more were painted on her fingernails. A small stuffed lion, her personal teddy bear, was at trackside for added good luck, she said.
Her father, a Beatles fanatic, thought she would be special one day and at her birth gave her a special name, Maurren, in honour of Ringo Starr's first wife, Maureen. Now she has her country's first gold of the games.
The United States, meanwhile, claimed two of the day's four golds with victories in the men's shot put and the women's hammer throw.
Brad Mears surprisingly won the shot with a put of 19.93 metres (65 feet, 4 3/4 inches) with countryman Jamie Beyer second at 18.95 metres (62 feet, 2 1/4 inches). Dawn Ellerbe won the other gold, throwing the hammer a games' record 65.36 metres (214 feet, 5 inches).
Mexico thought it had duplicated the U.S. showing in the shot put with a 1-2 finish in the men's 5,000 metres, but winner Pablo Olmedo was disqualified for obstructing or jostling another runner. That gave the gold to countryman Jose Galvan, who clocked 13:42.04. Brazil's Eienilson Silva, who finished third, also was disqualified for the same infraction as Olmedo.
Favoured Chris Huffins of the United States led the first day of the decathlon, compiling 4,415 points for five events.
Gene Cherry (Reuters) for the IAAF
Results from Day 1
Women's hammer throw
1. Dawn Ellerbe (USA) 65.36 metres 2. Yipsi Moreno (CUB) 63.03 3. Caroline Wittrin (CAN) 61.28 4. Norbi Balanten (CUB) 60.46 5. Michelle Fournier (CAN) 60.33 6. Tamika Powell (USA) 58.90 7. Nancy Guillen (ESA) 57.75 8. Violeta Guzman (MEX) 56.26
Women's long jump
1. Maurren Maggi (BRA) 6.59 2. Angela Brown (USA) 6.51 3. Elva Goulbourne (JAM) 6.41 4. Vanessa Monar Enweani (CAN) 6.37 5. LaShonda Christopher (USA) 6.30 6. Lisset Cuza (CUB) 6.29 7. Jackie Edwards (BAH) 6.20 8. Flora Hyacinth (ISV) 6.18
Men's shot put
1. Brad Mears (USA) 19.93 2. Jamie Beyer (USA) 18.95 3. Brad Snyder (CAN) 18.74 4. Edson Miguel (BRA) 17.99 5. Jason Tunks (CAN) 17.66 6. Miguel Verni (CHI) 16.65 Yoger Medina (VEN) no measurement
Men's 5,000 metres
1. Jose Galvan (MEX) 13 minutes, 42.04 seconds 2. Jeff Schiebler (CAN) 13:43.66 3. Brian Baker (USA) 13:47.29 4. Dan Browne (USA) 13:48.27 5. Silvio Guerra (ECU) 13:48.94 6. M. H. Diza (CHI) 13:53.55 7. Mauricio Ladino (COL) 13:54.15 8. Freddy Gonzalez (VEN) 14:12.94 Pablo Olmedo (MEX), Eienilson Silva (BRA) and Sean Kaley (CAN) disqualified.