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  • Pan Am Records Fall on Opening Day of Athletics


    (ATR) Three Pan American Games records were broken on the opening day of the athletics program in Lima.

    Yaimé Pérez of Cuba sets women's discus record. (Lima 2019)
    The athletics stadium at the VIDENA, Peru’s national sports complex, hosted five hours of action on Tuesday in both medal events and qualifying for Wednesday’s finals.

    The records broken included both the men’s and women’s discus. On the men’s side, Fedrick Dacres of Jamaica won the gold medal with a throw of 67.68m, surpassing a mark that had stood for 36 years.

    Yaimé Pérez of Cuba broke the Pan Am record set in 2011 on the women’s side with a throw of 66.58m.

    Canadian Natasha Wodak broke the Pan Am record for the women’s 10,000m with a time of 31:55.17 in the final. Risper Biyaki of Mexico secured the silver with a personal best time of 31:59. In fact, the top five finishers in the race eclipsed the previous record set in Toronto in 2015.

    Chantal Malone wins first gold medal for British Virgin Islands. (Lima 2019)
    The surprise of the night came in the women’s long jump. Chantel Malone of the British Virgin Islands took home the gold medal, the first medal of any kind for her country at the Pan Ams. Aruba is now the only country to never win a medal at the Games. The last time the 27-year-old Malone was first at a competition was at the Central American and Caribbean Games in 2014.

    The final gold medal event of the night, the men’s 5000m, was won by Fernando Daniel Martinez of Mexico.

    The program on Tuesday also included qualifying for the men’s and women’s 100m and 400m hurdles and the women’s 800m.

    Elaine Thompson of Jamaica, who has run a 10.73 in the 100m this season, needs to better 10.92 to set the Pan American record. The Rio 2016 gold medalist in both the 100m and 200m, she easily qualified for the final but her time of 11.36, while the fastest of the day, was well off a record-setting pace.

    Thompson’s fellow Jamaican sprinter and two-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce will make her first appearance on Wednesday in the 200m.

    Half of the men’s decathlon events were completed on Tuesday, with 13 athletes competing at 100m and 400m, the long and high jumps and the shot put. The final standings of the first day of competition has 2015 champion Damian Warner of Canada in first, followed by Pierce Lepage (Canada), Lindon Victor (Granada), Geromi Jaramillo (Ecuador), and Ken Mullings (Bahamas).

    Warner owns the Pan Am record from Toronto with 2803 points.

    Written and reported by Olivia Diaz Ugalde in Lima

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