The 19th edition of the Pan American Games wrapped up with an impressive showcase of athletic prowess and a historic double triumph by Joselyn Brea of Venezuela at Santiago de Chile’s National Stadium. The venue was once more filled to capacity as fans witnessed an array of outstanding performances on the event’s final day.
In a gripping competition on Friday, Joselyn Brea, already the 5000m champion, took her place at the starting line for the 1500m, facing off against race leader Emily Mackay. With just 120 meters remaining, Brea surged ahead of her American counterpart and sprinted across the finish line.
Cuba’s Daily Marlins Cooper also made a spirited attempt to challenge Mackay but fell just short of Brea, who secured her second individual title in Santiago with an impressive time of 4:11:80, narrowly outpacing the Cuban athlete by a mere eight-hundredths of a second. This remarkable achievement made Joselyn Brea the first Venezuelan woman to accomplish a double victory in an individual event at the Pan American Games, following in the footsteps of Rosa Rodriguez and Yulimar Rojas, who had previously claimed gold medals in the hammer throw and triple jump, respectively.
Reflecting on her victory, Brea expressed her emotions, saying, “I am very emotional. I am relieved that my hard work paid off. I knew it would be a tough race, especially considering my fatigue from yesterday, but I had to conserve some energy for the final. I had faith in my abilities, and thankfully, I secured a second gold.”
Joselyn Brea has had a breakthrough season, setting three South American records in the mile, 3000m, and 5000m, with the latter being broken by over half a minute.
The 19th Pan American Games also saw the participation of three World Championships medalists from Budapest. Canada’s Ethan Katzberg, the youngest-ever men’s hammer medallist at the World Championships, displayed his incredible talent by achieving a national record with an 81.25m throw. He continued his success in Chile, setting a new Games record three times to secure gold with an impressive 80.96m toss.
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Flor Denis Ruiz Hurtado, the world silver medallist in the javelin, secured her first continental gold with an opening throw of 63.10m, outperforming Bahamas’ NCAA champion Rhema Otabor. Cuba’s Lazaro Martinez, the Budapest 2023 triple jump silver medallist, also delivered a standout performance, securing a gold medal.
The final day of the Pan American Games featured the debut of the marathon race walk mixed relay, which is set to be included in the Olympic program for Paris 2024. The relay event, featuring male and female athletes from eight nations walking two legs each, displayed a potential world record-breaking performance, with Ecuador and Brazil’s teams delivering impressive results.
In the stadium, Brazil’s Darlan Romani successfully defended his shot put title, while Cuba’s Luis Enrique Zayas claimed gold in the high jump. Other athletes, including Gianna Woodruff, Belen Casetta, Cristhian Pacheco, and Andrea Vargas, delivered exceptional performances, setting records and leaving their mark on the Games.
The United States led the athletics medal table with a total of 25 medals, including 8 gold, 5 silver, and 12 bronze, followed by Brazil, Cuba, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela, and Peru.
As the 19th Pan American Games came to a close, they were characterized by outstanding athletic achievements, record-breaking performances, and the promise of a bright future for Pan American sports. The 2027 Pan American Games are already eagerly anticipated and scheduled to be held in Barranquilla, Colombia.