Chile’s Juan Garrido Acevedo, Cuba’s Danilo Rodriguez Garcia and Colombia’s Jainer Cantillo all set new Games records on their way to gold on Sunday (9 August), the second day of powerlifting at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games.
Garrido took gold in the men's up to 59kg class with a 175kg lift. The 35-year-old had already taken the lead with a first 170kg haul. Brazil’s Bruno Pinheiro Carra (162kg) sealed silver, whilst Cuba's Yoander Arias (137kg) collected bronze. Chile has now doubled its gold medal tally from the Guadalajara 2011 Parapan American Games.
Despite Garrido’s delight at winning gold he was disappointed not to have broken his own Americas record of 177kg which he set at the Santiago 2014 Para-South American Games.
“I was so looking forward to breaking the Americas record. But I should not be complaining. Four years ago, I claimed bronze at the Guadalajara 2011 Parapan American Games. Having won the gold medal at Toronto 2015 is an award for the hard work,” Garrido said.
After two failed attempts in the opening rounds, Rodriguez Garcia dramatically took gold in the men's up to 65kg class. He waited until the third round before his Parapan record 166kg lift secured gold. Colombia’s Andres Salazar Herrera (152kg) finished with a silver thanks to a lower body weight, ahead of Brazil’s Alexsander Whitaker (152kg).
“I get motivated when I am in a compromising situation. I was confident I could win this gold medal and I am very happy,” Rodriguez Garcia assured.
Jainer Cantillo grabbed Colombia’s first powerlifting gold medal at Toronto 2015 with a 190kg lift in the men's up to 72kg, repeating his gold from Guadalajara 2011. However, he failed to break the Americas record (201kg) that he set at the Mexico 2015 IPC Powerlifting Open Americas Championships.
Colombia’s Javier Montenegro (157kg) sealed silver, whilst Nicaragua’s Fernando Acevedo (142kg) finished with a bronze.
“I am happy and grateful. I would not have achieved this without my NPC, my family and my friends support,” said Cantillo.
Powerlifting continues at Toronto 2015 on Monday.