Cuba’s Yarisley Silva won her third consecutive Pan Am Games pole vault title with a gutsy last-ditch attempt on Thursday.
The 2015 world champion had fallen behind American Katie Nageotte after a second miss at 4.70 metres but after having the bar raised to 4.75 she cleared the height to claim victory. A miss and Silva would have lost to Nageotte, who wound up with the silver at 4.70 after missing twice at 4.75 and once at 4.80.
Silva had almost gone out of the competition with two failures at 4.35 before staying alive with a third-attempt clearance.
Cuba also won gold in the heptathlon with Adriana Rodriguez scoring 6,113 points to defeat American Annie Kunz (5,990).
There was controversy in the women’s 400m hurdles with Canada’s Sage Watson winning in 55.16 seconds. She was temporarily disqualified for a lane violation before being reinstated after a review.
American Anna Cockrell took the silver. The men’s race went to Brazil’s Alison dos Santos, who stormed to victory in 48.45 after leader Juander Santos of the Dominican Republic hit the final hurdle. In the 400m, Jamaican Olympic bronze medallist Shericka Jackson claimed the women’s title in 50.73 with Colombian record holder Anthony Zambrano winning the men’s race in 44.83 ahead of Jamaica’s Demish Gaye (44.94).
Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was upstaged in the women’s 200m semi-finals by Brazil’s Vitoria Cristina Rosa.
South American champion Rosa, running in the third semi-final, clocked a personal best 22.72 to top two-time Olympic 100m gold medallist Fraser-Pryce’s 22.90 from the first race.
The men’s top time went to Ecuador’s Alex Quinonez in 20.41, well off his South American record of 19.87 he posted in finishing second to Noah Lyles’ yearly leading 19.50 in July.
Cuba’s Reynier Mena (20.56) and Panama’s Alonso Edward (20.65) won the other semi-finals. St. Lucia’s Levern Spencer retained her women’s high jump title with fewer misses at 1.87m while Chile celebrated gold and silver in the hammer throw with South American champion Gabriel Kehr (74.98m) defeating teammate Humberto Mansilla (74.38m). Mexico’s Jose Villarreal won the men’s 1,500m in 3:39.93 and Carolina Vargas of Costa Rica dominated the women’s 100m hurdles find in 12.82.
US makes splash in pool to get past 200 medals
Led by another productive day in the pool, the United States sailed through the 200 total medal barrier at the Pan Am Games on Thursday and warned there was more to come.
The United States will need a big finish if they are to better the 103 gold and 265 medals won four years ago in Toronto but with three days of competition remaining, including two more in the pool, they will have their chance.
With 82 gold and 206 total medals, the United States are the clear leaders in the table with Brazil surging into second on 36 golds ahead of Mexico with 27 and Canada with 26.
“We’re just getting warmed up,” said Margo Geer after winning the women’s 100 metres freestyle for her first individual gold to go along with a pair in the relays. “I love being part of the relays but individually it’s super special to me.
“The goal here is to win as many medals as possible for our country so, so far so good.”
For the second consecutive night the United States dominated at the Centro Acuatico, sweeping gold in seven of nine finals.