Brazil’s track and field team sits atop the medal table after Day 1 of the South American U-20 championships but local athletes, Compton Caesar and Chantoba Bright struck gold to give Guyana its best start of the event which made its debut in 1959.
In front of a boisterous crowd at the National Track and Field Centre, Caesar, Guyana’s golden boy at this year’s CARIFTA Games, added another international 100m gold to his collection with an upset win against Derick De Souza Silva (10.45s) of Brazil who was relegated to second. Third was Argentina’s Daniel Londero in 10.70s.
Caesar struck gold in a personal best of 10.37s after a supersonic start which translated to a flawless drive phase. His excellent execution allowed him to stave off the fast finishing Brazilian who had the fastest qualifying time and a season’s best of 10.26s.
Bright, a multiple CARIFTA Games medalist also continued her upward trajectory on the international circuit, winning the women’s long jump with a distance of 6.30m. Bright, like Caesar, who is a native of Linden, disturbed the sand in a career best effort to add the precious metal to her bulging collection. Her compatriot Ruth Sanmogan (5.59m) placed third while Victoria Alves (6.18m) was second.
Guyana also had two occupants on the podium in the women’s 100m and the men’s 800m. In the blue riband 100m event, Onasha Rogers (11.71s) snared silver and Kenisha Phillips copped bronze (11.78s). Brazil’s Lorraine Martins (11.56s) powered across the line to win the gold.
Samuel Lynch and Anfernee Headecker finished second and third respectively in the grueling two-lap event which was won by Brazil’s Jefferson Alb Dos Santos who also won the 1500m event.
Earlier in the day, Headecker (4m:02.81s) narrowly missed out on a second-place finish but earned Guyana’s first medal of the meet with a bronze in the 1500m final.
Avon Samuels (55.45s) did one better when she ran across the line in second place behind Brazil’s Tiffani Marinho (54.25s) in the women’s 400m final. Her countryman, Daniel Williams (48.24s) also was on the second podium step in the quarter-mile event behind Suriname’s Miguel Shepper (47.90s)
Claudrice McKoy also added to Guyana’s medal tally in the gripping 1500m race which brought the crowd to its feet. McKoy (4m: 39.96s) used every joule of energy in her diminutive frame to finish third behind Brazil’s Pietra Da Silva (4m: 31.82s) and Colombia’s Jarly Marin Zipa (4m: 33.83s). McKoy was lauded for her efforts after being as much as 60m off the lead and in fifth place during the final lap. After Day 1, Brazil has a total of 19 medals, 10 gold, eight silver and a bronze. Guyana has 16 medals in total.
Other results of the day included:
(Men’s Hammer) 1st Alencar Perreira (Brazil), 2nd Roberto Montile (Chile),
(Women’s Shot Put) 1st Ailen Armanda (Argentina), 2nd Ana Da Silva (Brazil), Jelyza Pengel (Suriname)
(Women’s 10k Race Walk) 1st Maria Montoya (Colombia), 2nd Evelyn Inga (Peru), Brenda Fernandes (Peru)
(Women’s 3000m) 1st Micaela Levaggi (Argentina), 2nd Sheyla Eulogio (Peru), 3rd Lisa Meneses (Peru)
(Men’s 110m Hurdles) 1st Maribel Caicedo, 2nd Victoria Alves (Brazil), 3rd Maria Sanchez (Argentina)
The second and final day starts at this morning at 06:30hrs with the 10k walk race (men), will be highlighted by the relay events and the 200m races. (Emmerson Campbell)