Cuban athletics won Thursday another five gold medals a silver and a bronze. Omar Cisneros set a continental record.
Cisneros registered 47.99 seconds at the men´s 400 m, new Pan American record. The Cuban had a relentless step and left behind the Jamaican Isa Phillips (48.82), and Dominican veteran Felix Sanchez (48.85).
“I am proud of being the first Cuban who managed to score less than 48 seconds in this competition. I knew I could do it, although I’ve had my ups and downs. For the next year I think I´ll give a surprise at the London Olympics,” said the champion.
On the other hand, Adriana Muñoz dominated the 1 500 meters with a time of 4.26,09 minutes and became the first Pan-American twice champion in athletics. The Colombian Rosibel Garcia was second with 4.26,78, while Malindi Elmore from Canada came third (4.27,57). The other Cuban present in the lid, Urdileidis Quiala, finished fifth with 4.29,08.
“Imagine the joy I feel right now. I came to these Games with the intention to repeating my performance in Santo Domingo 2003 and I made it. The greatest emotion is that my son Victor in Cuba must be jumping with joy.”
“Before coming here, he said he wanted the two medals, and here you have the medals my child”, said the Santiago athlete.
Alexis Copello won his gold medal in the triple jump from the first attempt, registering 17.21 meters. In contrast, Ciego de Avila Yoandri Betanzos won the silver medal in the last hour, with 16.54.
“In the Daegu World Championships I ended with a back ache, but I recovered and prepared to give everything here. I really expected more opposition, but my opponent did not show up in the best shape. I went with my best jump because I wanted to define from the start and I managed the competition,” said Copello.
Meanwhile, Betanzos told us that in the midst of competition felt pain in his left calf, and thanks to treatment by a physiatrist who was in the field could recover to achieve the silver medal in the final stretch.
“This medal is very important for me, as it is the third in Pan American Games. With this medal I have one of each color. I am glad because at least I was not off the podium,” he said.
Another title in the day was achieved by Misleydis Gonzalez, who threw the implement to 18.65 meters. The silver medal went to Trinity Cleopatra Borel (18.46) and bronze was for the American Michelle Carter (18.09). Maylin Vargas, the other Cuban who competed in this event, was fourth with 17.98.
The last gold came fast in the 200 meters, with Roberto Skyers (20.37 seconds). The champion scored one tenth less than the Jamaican Lansford Spence, the silver medalist. The third place went to Brazilian Bruno de Barros (20.45).
In the women´s 200 meters, Nelkys Casabona could not defend his title in Rio de Janeiro 2007 and was fifth with 23.43 seconds, followed by Roxana Diaz (23.45). Ana Claudia Lemos, Brazil, won gold (22.76).
Yainielis Ribiaux threw his javelin up to 56.21 meters for a silver, followed in third place by the Granma Yanet Cruz (56.19). The title went to the U.S. Alicia Deshasier, who threw the javelin to 58.01.
Victor Moya was third in the high jump with 2.26 meters record. The title went to the Bahamian Donald Thomas (2.32), and Ecuador got the bronze medal thanks to Diego Ferrin, who managed to 2.30, the best jump of his life.
Finally, Yudileivis Castillo was fifth in the women´s 5000 meters after clocking 16.49,63 minutes. The competition was won by Mexican Marisol Romero (16.24,08).