TRUJILLO, Peru – Puerto Rico’s Ryan Sanchez, Jamaica’s Christopher Taylor and USA’s Laulauga Collins provided the highlights on the second day of the 19th Pan American U20 Championships at Trujillo’s Chan Chan stadium.
Taylor delighted the crown with his impressive 200m win in 20.38 seconds, the second fastest time in the history of the championships, only bettered by Usain Bolt’s 20.13 clocking in 2003.
“I felt great here and I gave it all until the finish. I am happy to win the first gold for Jamaica,” said Taylor, the 2015 world U18 400m champion, who shaved 0.21 second off his personal best.
Sanchez erased the oldest record of the championships with an impressive 1:46,51 win in 800m, eclipsing by almost a second and a half the previous mark of 1:47.85 set by Brazil’s 1984 Olympic champion Joaquim Carvalho Cruz in 1980.
“This is special for me, to win this gold for Puerto Rico and break the record that stood for so many years,” said Sanchez, who earned Puerto Rico’s first title at this event in six years.
Canada’s Marco Arop, who pushed him all the way, was rewarded with a personal best of 1:47.08 and the silver medal.
The world’s no. 1 Laulauga T. Collins confirmed her favourite status and saved her best throw for last with a 59.29m effort to break the 20-year old mark (57.88), set by her countrywoman Seilala Sua.
“This is my first time travelling outside the United States and I am fortunate to bring gold to my country,” commented Collins, who came within 9cm of her world leading mark.
In the women’s 200m race, Ashlan Best honoured her last name by taking the title in 23.27 seconds, capping a successful day for Canada with four gold medals on Saturday.
Jean-Simon Desgagnes (3000m steeplechase), Laura Dickinson (5000m) and Victoria Tachinski (800m) also produced golden performances for the Canucks.
Tara Davis and Tarik Brock Jr. led another productive day for the USA, the largest delegation, anchored their teams to the 4x100m relay.
Brock Jr added a second gold after his 100m win on Friday. Davis has been more prolific with the victory in the long jump and silver in 100m hurdles.
Brazil enjoyed their first crown with Pedro Nunes in the javelin. Colombia added a second gold with Maria Fernanda Murillo in the high jump (1.85m) as well as Cuba with Davisleidys Velazco in the triple jump (13.59m).
Another Cuba, world U20 silver medallist Adriana Rodriguez is the ample leader in the heptathlon after a 3593-point tally on the first day.
The Association of Pan American Athletics General Assembly and the second day of the South American and North and Central American Coaches Congress were also held on Saturday.
Over 500 athletes from 30 countries are participating at the event, held for the first time in Peru until Sunday.