Guyana hosted the South America Under-20 Championships last weekend at the National Track and Field Centre at Leonora…Here are some fun facts about the historic event.
1) It was the first time that Guyana played host to the biennial fixture which started in 1959 in Argentina.
2) It was the 42nd edition of the event.
3) Guyana won 25 medals during the two-day championship and finished in the runner-up position.
4) Before hosting the event, Guyana had won only eight medals. It was the first time that Guyana won three gold medals at the event. Compton Caesar won the marquee Boys 100m, Chantoba Bright leaped to a gold in the Girls Long Jump and the quartet of Avon Samuels, Tandika Haynes, Joanna Archer, and Kenisha Phillips won the Girls 4x400m race.
5) Phillips was the busiest female athlete during the course of the championships. The 16-year old competed in the 100m and 200m races and the 4x100m and 4x400m relays. She was also the most decorated bagging two bronze medals in the individual events, and a silver and a gold in the relays.
6) Both Caesar (10.37s) and Bright (6.30m) recorded their personal bests in their gold medal events.
7) There were three records set at the event. The women’s hammer won with a 60.42m throw by Marianna Garcia of Chile; the men’s 110m hurdles won in 13:58s by Marcos Herrera of Ecuador and the women’s javelin won with a 50.44m throw by Herrera’s teammate, Yuleixi Angulo.
8) Angulo’s throw also set the new national record for Ecuador.
9) It was the first time that the hammer event was contested on local soil.
10) It was also the first time that the decathlon and the 3000m steeplechase events were contested in Guyana.
11) 195 athletes and 34 officials from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Guyana participated in the Championships.
12) Our immediate neighbor to the south, Brazil, won the championship with 32 medals, 18 gold, 11 silver and three bronze.