Parapan American Games
23 August - 1 September

Lima 2019: Brazil off to record-breaking start in athletics

Historic first day at the Parapan American Games as Paulino and Rodrigues set new marks 25 Aug 2019
a male Para athlete screams in celebration with his fists clenched
Thiago Paulino smashed the men’s shot put F57 world record to take gold on the first day of athletics competition at Lima 2019

Brazil set two world records in a sensational start to the athletics competitions at the Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru, on Saturday.

Thiago Paulino was the first one to achieve such a feat after throwing 15.26 in the men’s shot put F57. His compatriot Claudiney Batista and Argentinian Pablo Gimenez completed the podium.

Paulino broke the world record he had set only two weeks ago at an event in Sao Paulo. A troubling pain in his throwing shoulder did not deter him, even though his coach advised him not to “force it.

“I’ve got some big events coming up, in Dubai for the World Championships and next year in Tokyo for the Paralympic Games, so my coach told me not to force it too much today.

“In the end I couldn’t help myself. It’s not the first time I’ve got a world record, but it feels great to do it at a Parapan American Games.”

Elisabeth Rodrigues celebrates her gold on day one of Lima 2019

The other world record was set by Brazilian Elizabeth Rodrigues, who threw 16.67 in the women’s discus F53. Mexican Leticia Ochoa Delgado and Canadian Martha Gustafson completed the podium.

Omara Durand flies on the track

The world’s fastest female Paralympian delivered the first gold of her promised triple by winning the women’s 200m T12. She crossed the finished line in 23.67 together with guide Yuniol Vargas. Now, Durand is hoping to repeat such success in the 100m and 400m.  

Omara Durand opened her Lima 2019 campaign with gold

“I have two more events and two more golds to win. I have to continue to prepare well,” she said.

“I know I can win them but all the athletes here will be well prepared so we will see the results on the track.”

Silver sensation for hosts

There was high drama in the men’s 5,000m T11, as Peruvian fans celebrated what they thought was their first gold through Rosbil Guillen and guide Carlos Guevara. However, the home pair were then disqualified after it was found they broke loose just before crossing the finish line.

Peru's Rosbin Guillen was disqualified after initially winning the men's 5,000m T11

It was Ecuador, therefore, who took gold through Darwin Castro and guide Sebastian Rosero, but there was still reason for the home fans to go wild, as Peru’s Luis Sandoval was awarded silver to the delight not just of those in the stadium, but also watching on TV and following on Twitter. The reaction was so overwhelming Sandoval even became the number one trending topic in Peru.  

Sandoval (second left) ensured Peru still had reason to celebrate after being awarded silver

"It was possible to reach the podium, that was my main goal. I'm happy, it was a tough competition. All the competitors are very strong,” he said.

Bermuda top podium

Jessica Lewis made it back to back Parapan golds

Repeating her gold medal performance from Toronto 2015, Jessica Lewis again gave Bermuda gold after winning the women’s 400m T53. USA’s Yen Hoang and Kelsey Le Fevour ended second and third, respectively.

More winners

Paralympic champions Mauricio Valencia of Colombia and Leinier Savon Pineda of Cuba also took gold in the first day of athletics.

Mauricio Valencia celebrated in trademark fashion on day one

The USA and Argentina (three golds), Canada (two), Mexico and Venezuela (one) enjoyed the sweet taste of victory as well.

Full results are available on our Lima 2019 website.