Paralympic medallists and newcomers shone as the Athletics and Swimming National Open came to a close in Barranquilla, Colombia, on 21 October (Sunday).
The hosts celebrated through three-time Paralympic medallist Moises Fuentes, who took two golds at the Eduardo Movilla Aquatics Centre.
Dunia Felices showed why she is regarded as one of Peru’s biggest medal hopes ahead of the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games by claiming three titles in the women’s 50m butterfly, 50m and 100m freestyle S5.
Another swimmer who stood out was Rio 2016 champion Lorenzo Perez Escalona, who returned to Cuba with three gold medals. Camila Haase, Costa Rica’s first female Paralympian, took four golds on Colombian soil.
On his first international competition, Paraguay’s Rodrigo Hermosa claimed two bronzes and received a congratulations message on Twitter from his country’s First Lady Silvina Abado.
She wrote: “Paraguay make history in Para sports! Rodrigo Hermosa, 15-year-old Para swimmer, who was awarded a grant by the National Secretary of Sports, won two bronze medals at the Barranquilla Open in his first international competition. Congratulations!”
Americas records on the field
Chile’s Francisca Mardones set a new Americas record* at the Rafael Cotes Athletics Stadium in the women’s shot put F54 thanks to a 7.30m throw. Argentina’s Hernan Urra (46.34m) also broke the continental record* in the men’s discus throw F35.
Rio 2016 Paralympian Carlos Felipa Cordova added another gold for Peru in the men’s discus throw F63. Ecuador’s Paralympic athlete Darwin Castro topped the podium in the men’s 5000m T11.
Costa Rican also shone on the track with Sherman Guity, who took gold in the men’s 100m and 200m T64.
“This event shows that there is still a lot I have to improve and what I can achieve in future competitions. I leave Colombia happy for having won two golds against some of the best runners in the region,” Guity said.
A total of 893 participants from a record 15 countries participated.
Full results are available on the official website.
*Subject to ratification by World Para Athletics