Happy birthday to Lázaro Martínez, historic Jocelyn Brea, and Brazil shines in the medal table

Happy birthday to Lázaro Martínez, historic Jocelyn Brea, and Brazil shines in the medal table
Fecha de publicación: 
5 November 2023
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With fewer fans in attendance at the Pan American Stadium in Nuñoa due to the women's football final and the men's handball and basketball semifinals taking place simultaneously, athletics witnessed another remarkable penultimate day at the Panam Games with multiple protagonists.


The Cuban celebrated his 26th birthday by reigning supreme in the triple jump, while the Venezuelan achieved the first-ever 'double' in the 1,500m and 5,000m.

Venezuelan athlete Joselyn Brea accomplished something no other athlete had achieved in Pan American Games history: winning gold in both the 1,500m and 5,000m. The two-time duathlon world champion showcased her skills on Thursday to secure victory in the 12-and-a-half lap final (16:04.12). Just 24 hours later, she was back on the track.


© Getty Images

© Getty Images

Brea started the 1,500m final with the fourth-best time among the finalists. In an exciting race, she managed to stay in the lead despite pressure from her pursuers. She finished the last lap in exactly one minute, clinching victory with a time of 4:11.80—only six hundredths of a second faster than Cuba's Daily Cooper (4:12.02). The third spot went to the disappointed American Emily Mackay (4:12.02), far from her season's best of 3:59.


Cuban athlete Lázaro Martínez turned 26 on Friday and celebrated with a gold medal in a highly competitive triple jump final. The current indoor world champion and outdoor runner-up reclaimed the title for his country after American Omar Craddock secured it four years ago by a margin of just four centimeters over Jordan Díaz (who may debut as a Spanish athlete in the Paris Games).


Martínez was the only one to surpass the 17-meter mark, achieving 17.19 meters on his first attempt. He fouled his second attempt and decided to skip his last four jumps. He did give Brazilian Almir dos Santos a run for his money with Almir's 16.92 meters on his sixth attempt. The third spot went to fellow Cuban Cristian Nápoles (16.66), who won bronze at the previous World Championships. Thus, Cuba replicated its two medals from Budapest in Santiago de Chile.


The reigning indoor world champion in shot put, Darlan Romani, left no room for his rivals. The Brazilian bounced back from his eighth-place finish at the last World Championships with his second consecutive gold at the Panam Games, thanks to a 21.36-meter throw on his fifth attempt. He outclassed Mexican Uziel Muñoz (21.15) and American Jordan Geist (20.53).

© Getty Images

© Getty Images


Darlan's victory, along with Merlene Santos' win in the 400m hurdles with a modest time of 57.18 ahead of Costa Rican Daniela Rojas (57.41) and Michelle Smith from the Virgin Islands with 57.53, allowed Brazil to close the penultimate day of athletics at the top of the medal table with seven golds, eight silvers, and three bronzes. Behind them are the United States and Cuba, both with five golds. Cuba is poised to potentially add a sixth gold in the women's 800m with Rose Mary Almanza.


The high jump final also saw the second consecutive gold for Cuban athlete Luis Enrique Zayas (2.27 meters), a junior world champion seven years ago. The silver went to Puerto Rican Luis Joel Castro (2.24), and the bronze, with the same height, went to Bahamian Donald Thomas—now 39 years old, a far cry from the 2.35 meters that made him world champion 16 years ago in Osaka.


In javelin, the favored Colombian athlete Flor Ruiz left no chance for her rivals, demonstrating why she's the current world runner-up with a best throw of 63.10 meters achieved on her first attempt. The Bahamian Rhema Otabor trailed far behind, winning silver with 60.54 meters, and American Madelyn Harris took bronze with 60.06 meters.


To wrap up the medals, there was an American 'double' in the 10,000 meters, with Isai Rodríguez breaking away after the third lap and covering nearly nine kilometers alone (28:17.84). His compatriot Samuel Chelanga claimed silver (29:01.21), and the Guatemalan athlete competing independently, Alberto González, won bronze (29:12.24). In the men's 400m hurdles final, Jamaican favorite Jaheel Hyde emerged victorious with a time of 49.19, followed by Brazilian Matheus Lima (49.69) and Cuban Yoao Illas (49.74).

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