Two days after dominating the 800m, Rosemary Almanza became the first athlete to win two gold medals at the Games as she moved away from the field on the home stretch to take the 1500m. She became the first Cuban woman to clinch the title in the distance and followed previous 800m/1500m double winners Letitia Vriesde (1993) of Surinam and Colombia´s Rosibel García (2010).
Garcia finished third on Wednesday while Colombia's 5000m gold medallist and 1500m defending champion Muriel Cuneo faded to fifth after leading during 1200m.
World indoor bronze medallist and second on the world lists, Yorgelis Rodriguez successfully defended her heptathlon crown with a Games record of 6436 points. South American record holder Evelis Aguilar came within 26 points of the Cuban after the long jump and went on to win silver in 6285 points, a new Area record. Venezuela´s Luisaris Toledo finished fast in 800m (2:12.27) to win bronze in a new national record of 5848.
Jamaica added two more victories on the track with Shashalee Forbes in 200m (22.80) and Tiffany James in 400m (52.35) to enjoy their best performance ever in the history of the Games. Seven of the country´s 10 gold medals won at the Games have been achieved in athletics.
Mexico also continued a solid performance. Jose Leyver Ojeda took the 50km race walk win in very hot and humid conditions, with his wife and two daughters supporting him during the 50-lap loop course along the Malecon in Barranquilla. Recovering from the 5000m final a day earlier, Fernando Daniel Martinez bided his time and led a gold-silver finish in a slow final, followed by Jose Eduardo Rodriguez.
Trinidad and Tobago's two-time Olympic finalist Cleopatra Borel became the first woman to win three gold medals in the shot put with a 18.14m effort in the shot put. 2007 world champion Donald Thomas added to his 2010 gold with a victory in the high jump. Dominican Republic´s 2012 Olympic silver medallist Luguelin Santos ran a season´s best of 44.59 to secure the gold in 400m, a day after his younger brother Juander had won bronze in the 400m Hurdles.
For Trinidad and Tobago, Bahamas and the Dominican Republic, it was their first athletics title of the Games.
- Published in Sports