Nine world records were broken, numerous individuals and teams qualified for the London 2012 Paralympic Games and Brazil came out on top of the medal standings at the 2011 Parapan American Games, which concluded on Sunday (20 November) in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Brazil finished with 81 gold and 197 total medals, the USA came second with 51 gold and 132 total medals and host nation Mexico rounded out the top three with 50 gold and 165 total medals.
Seventeen-year-old Chelsea McClammer (USA) topped the medal chart in Athletics in Guadalajara, winning five golds and a bronze. She set Games records in the women’s 200m T53 and 5,000m T54 races with times of 34.55 and 14:07.74, respectively.
McClammer helped the USA finish with 25 gold and 56 total medals, but Brazil finished first in the track and field events with 27 gold and 60 total medals.
For the Brazilians, Shirlene Coelho had a winning performance in the Shot Put F35/36/37 and the Javelin Throw F37/38, while Lucas Prado and Terezinha Guilhermina won the men’s and women’s 100m T11 sprints, respectively. Yohansson Nascimento set a new world record in the men’s 200m T46 race with a time of 22.34, as did Daniel Silva in the men’s 400m T11 event with a time of 49.82.
On the final day of Athletics, gold went to host nation Mexico, as Aaron Gordian Martinez wrapped up competition with a victory in the Marathon.
Canada, Mexico and the USA took the three gold medals up for grabs at the Archery competition.
The Men’s Individual Compound Open featured an all-Canadian final, as Kevin Evans defeated teammate Robert Hudson, 7-3, for gold. Jose Baez (MEX) beat Michael Lukow (USA), 6-0, in the Men’s Indiviudal Recurve W2 final and Lee Ford (USA) beat Natalie Wells (USA), 6-2, in the Women’s Individual Recurve W2 to earn her country its seventh competition slot in Archery for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Team Canada won five of the 12 medals up for grabs, as Paul Gauthier and Adam Dukovich both finished first in their respective categories.
Gauthier qualified for London 2012 with a 7-5 win over Maria Belen Ruiz (ARG) in the BC3 finals and Dukovich beat out Pablo Cortez (ARG), 4-1, for the BC2 title.
Fabio Moraes (BRA) won the BC4 competition and Eduardo Ventura (MEX) won an easy gold in the BC1 event.
Six teams earned their places at London 2012, as the USA won gold in both the men’s and women’s competition.
On the men’s side, Colombia pulled an overtime shocker in the semi-finals by defeating Canada to advance to the finals by a score of 69-58. The USA triumphed in the gold-medal contest, defeating Colombia, 60-40, with 17 points from Joe Chambers and 16 pointsfrom Paul Schulte. Jamie Sanz led Colombia with 15 points and Rodney Hawkins grabbed 14 boards.
Canada still managed to qualify for London 2012 with a 60-42 win over Mexico in the bronze-medal game. Pat Anderson starred for Team Canada in Guadalajara, with a 27-point, 12-rebound performance in the third-place contest.
The USA’s women’s squad beating Canada, 69-31, in the finals, yet both qualified for London 2012, as did Brazil by beat Mexico, 59-54, in the bronze-medal game.
The USA claimed four golds and Canada three at the track cycling competition in the Panam Velodrome. For the Americans, Allison Jones won the Women’s Individual Pursuit C1-3, Clark Rachfal and pilot Dave Swanson won the Men’s 1,000m Time Trial B and Jennifer Schuble was victorious in both the Women’s Individual Pursuit C4-5 and the Women’s 500m Time Trial C1-5.
Canada was led by the tandem of Robbi Weldon and Lyne Bessette, which won both the Women’s Individual Pursuit B and the Women’s 1,000m Time Trial B.
In the road races, the USA won five golds and Colombia three. Nestor Ayala (COL) put on an impressive performance in the Mixed Road Race T1-2 event and Oz Sanchez (USA) won both the Men’s Road race H2-4 and Mixed Time Trial H1-4.
After upsetting powerhouse Brazil in the preliminary round, Argentina then fell to the favourites in the gold-medal game, 1-0. Brazil outshot Argentina, 16-7, and Ricardo Stenmetz’s lone goal was all it needed to claim the title.
Colombia crusied to a 4-0 win over Mexico in the bronze-medal game.
Brazil’s men’s team fended off the USA for gold at San Rafael Gymnasium with a 5-3 victory led by Alexsander Celente. On the women’s side, the outcome was flipped, as the USA beat Brazil, 2-0, for gold and a London 2012 spot.
Mexico’s men’s team won bronze, as did Canada’s women’s team.
In a packed judoka field, Brazil’s Daniele Bernardes (BRA) upset star athlete Naomi Soazo (VEN) in the women’s -63kg and Myles Porter (USA) went undefeated in the men’s -100kg, even beating four-time Paralympic gold medalist Antonio Tenorio da Silva (BRA).
Eduardo Avila (MEX) impressed for the host nation with a top finish in the men’s -73kg competition and Juan Castellanos (COL) won the men’s -60kg event.
Mexico won four of the six Powerlifting golds available, as Perla Barcenas broke the Games record in the women’s 67.5kg - +82.5kg event with each of her three lifts.
Jose Castillo dominated the field in the men’s 90kg - +100kg competition, breaking the Americas record twice, and hometown hero Amalia Perez won the women’s 44kg - 60kg for Mexico, as expected.
With just one London 2012 qualification spot up for grabs, Brazil showed it wanted it more with a four-game victory over the USA for gold. The USA started the match with a 25-20 win, but then Brazil won the remaining three sets, 28-28, 25-12 and 25-15.
Wescley Conceicao (BRA) had a stellar performance as the team’s top scorer.
Canada had no problem defeating Colombia for bronze in straight sets.
Daniel Dias (BRA) was easily the most decorated athlete in Guadalajara, winning gold in all 11 of his events, while Brazil won 85 total medals as a delegation in the pool. Dias had an especially impressive performance in the 200m Freestyle S5 with a Games-record time of 2:35.04. All of his performances set new Games records.
His teammate, Andre Brasil, claimed six golds of his own, including victories in the 100m Breaststroke SB9 and 100m Freestyle S10. Jona Silva (BRA) picked up four golds of her own – all in Games-record times.
Meanwhile, at just 18 years old, up-and-coming Anna Johannes (USA) won a surprising five golds and a silver, as she set Games records in the 100m Butterfly S9 and 100m Breaststroke SB8 finals.
A hoist of Para-Table Tennis players seemed to claim gold with a number of different classification events being played out at the Code II Sports Centre. Some of the highlights included Carlos Carbinatti’s (BRA) dominant victory over Rene Dominguez (MEX) in the men’s singles C10 final and Tahl Leibovitz’s (USA) win against Miguel Vazquez (MEX) in the men’s singles C9 finals.
Argentina gave its fans plenty to cheer about on the tennis court, as Gustavo Fernandez beat teammate Agustin Ledesma, 6-2, 6-2 in a hard-fought, gold-medal game in the men’s singles competition.
On the women’s side, it was an all-American final, with Mackenzie Soldan fending off teammate Mary Kaiser in three sets, 1-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Kaiser and Soldan then teamed up the next day to win gold in women’s doubles, while Jon Rydberg and Stephen Welch (USA) beat the top two Argentinean singles competitors in the men’s doubles final.