Alexsandro Melo leaps to the South American indoor triple jump title (Oscar Munoz Badilla) © Copyright
Report Cochabamba, Bolivia

Melo double highlights inaugural South American Indoor Championships

Brazilian Alexsandro Melo’s double victory in the jumps highlighted the inaugural edition of South American Indoor Championships which took place at “Estadio Municipal” in Cochabamba, Bolivia, on 1-2 February.

Melo reached 8.08m to take the long jump and 17.10m to win the triple jump to highlight Triple. The event was held on 1-2 February at the “Estadio Municipal” in Cochabamba, Bolivia (2560m of altitude).

Propelled at least in part by the city’s 2560m altitude, The 24 year-old Melo, nicknamed ‘Bolt’ for his physical resemblance of the great Jamaican sprinter, grabbed the control of Saturday’s (1) long jump competition with a 7.82m leap on his first attempt. He followed up with his winning mark of 8.08m in the second before rounding out the competition with four fouls. Melo was also dominant in the triple jump on Sunday (2). After a foul in the opening round, he leaped to 17.08m in he second to take command. Three fouls followed before he padded his lead by two more centimetres with an indoor personal best of 17.10m.

“Alexsandro was training, focusing on the World Indoor Championships,” said his coach Neilton Moura. “Even though it was postponed to 2021, we are very hopeful for the future with these results and the good training we achieved in Cochabamba.”

Melo’s outdoor personal bests are 8.19m from 2018, and 17.31m from 2019 and he currently ranks 24th in the World Athletics World Rankings in the triple jump.

Venezuelan Leodán Torrealba was second in the long jump with 7.72m, while Brazilian Mateus de Sá took silver in the triple jump with 16.62m.

Brazilians Constantino and Ferreira also excel 

Gabriel Constantino, the 2019 World University Games champion and South American record holder in the 110m hurdles (13.18) and 60m hurdles (7.60), took the title in the sprint hurdles with 7.78, ahead of compatriot Eduardo de Deus (7.81). Argentina’s Agustín Carrera was third with a national record of 7.87.

Fernando Ferreira, silver medallist at the 2019 South American Championships, took the High Jump title with 2.25m, only one centimetre shy of his indoor personal best and national indoor record, recently set in Ostrava on 21 January. Venezuelan Eure Yáñez, the 2017 South American champion, was second with 2.22m.

In the pole vault, Argentine veteran Germán Chiaraviglio, a former world U18 and world U20 champion, claimed the victory with a 5.50m leap.

The women’s jumping events also produced fine performances. Panama’s Nathalee Aranda grabbed the long jump victory with 6.58m, a national indoor record, beating Venezuelan Aries Sánchez (6.50m) and Brazilian Eliane Martins, the 2019 South American champion (6.40m). Ecuadorian Liuva Zaldívar took the triple jump title with 13.52m, also a national indoor record, where Brazilian Gabriele dos Santos reached 13.92m competing as a guest.

Clear victory from Santos

Brazilian Rosângela Santos, the 60m (7.17) and 100m (10.91) record holder, grabbed the 60m title with 7.34 ahead of 17-year-old Colombian Natalia Linares (7.42). Linares was also impressive at 200m, taking the victory in 24.19. Surinam’s Danny Vanan triumphed at 60m (national record of 6.80), while Panamanian Virjilio Griggs impressed at 200m (20.81).

Brazilian Tiffani Marinho, the 2019 South American outdoor champion, won the 400m in a personal best of 53.34. Argentina’s Elián Laregina was victorious at the same event, setting a national indoor record of 47.52.

Brazilian throwers dominated the shot put, as Wilian Dourado (19.09m) and Geisa Arcanjo (17.09m) grabbed both titles. 

Brazil dominated the medal table with nine gold medals, three silver, three bronze and 124 points, followed by Bolivia (4-4-2 and 120 points) and Argentina (3-4-8 and 103 points).

Eduardo Biscayart for World Athletics