Brazil, Colombia sign off on top at St. Louis 2022

D’Andrea, Medeiros shine for the Brazilian with record-breaking shows, Torres and Fernandez lead Colombian to gold in Team events 12 Jul 2022
Brazil's Caroline Fernandes Alves celebrates her win at St. Louis 2022.
Brazil's Caroline Fernandes Alves celebrates with her coach after her winning lift of 107kg in the women's up to 79kg class at St. Louis 2022
ⒸHiroki Nishioka
By Sean Cavanaugh | For World Para Powerlifting

Mariana D’ Andrea and Tayana Medeiros set new regional records en route to winning gold medals as Brazil topped the individual events at the 2022 Parapan American Open Championships that came to a close in St. Louis on Monday (11 July).

D’ Andrea, the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic champion, produced a successful powerlift of 140kg, enough to set a new Americas record and take the gold in the women’s up to 73kg class.

That was just the beginning. Team Brazil topped the podium numerous times, winning the best lift in four of the nine individual events in the final two days of the competition. 

Caroline Fernandes Alves was successful in all three of her lifts, including a 107kg output to set her personal best. She picked up best and total lift golds in the women’s up to 79kg. 

Day 4 witnessed another Americas record for Brazil as Medeiros lifted 126kg to clinch the gold medal in women’s up to 86kg. 

The Brazilian male powerlifters impressed too. Lima 2019 Parapan Am Games champion Evanio da Silva finished on top in the men’s up to 88kg competition, thanks to his only successful lift of 202kg in the first round. 

Colombia make their mark too

While Brazil ruled the roost in the individual events, Colombia dominated the Team events picking up gold medals in both men’s and women’s team events, edging past Chile. 

Bertha Cecilia Fernandez Arango sealed the win for Colombia in the women’s team event. She had also opened Day 3 with gold medals in the women’s up to 67kg, claiming the best lift (123kg) and total (345kg) titles. 

Meanwhile, Fernandez's team mate and Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Fabio Torres led his team to Men' Team event gold medal with a lift of 218kg. Before that Torres had come through with a golden sweep, claiming both best and total lift golds in the men’s up to 97kg class. 

Colombia even had double celebration in men’s over 107 heavyweight category. Eglain Antonio Mena Lemus and Jhon Freddy Castaneda Velasquez scored identical lifts in all three rounds of the men’s over 107 heavyweight category and decided to share the golds atop the podium. They had the best lift of 215kg and total of 630kg.

Revenge for Chile

Big marks were made outside these nations as well. 

Mexico’s Jose de Jesus Castillo lifted a massive 230kg to win gold in the men’s up to 107kg, while Castilo’s teammate Perla Patricia Barcenas Ponce de Leon grabbed the gold in the women’s over 86kg class with the best lift of 140kg. 

In the final event of the competition, Chile exacted revenge against Colombia, claiming gold in the mixed team event. 

Juan Carlos Garrido Acevedo, who already had claimed a gold earlier in the week in men’s upto 59kg, lifted 180kg to seal the win for Chile. 

These Americas Championships were the first to be held in the United States and the last four days witnessed high drama and great moments.

The Para powerlifting season will make a pit stop at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, Great Britain before hitting Tbilisi, Georgia for the European Open Championships in September. 

Complete results from St Louis 2022 can be found here.