Lima, May 24.- Ecuadorian long distance runner Byron Piedra was proclaimed this Friday for the third time in a row by the South American champion of 10,000 meters after winning the event in the continental championship that takes place this weekend in Lima, whose inaugural day was dominated by the Brazilian athletes.
Piedra revalidated the title he has held since 2015 with a time of 28 minutes, 48 seconds and 13 hundredths, ahead of the Colombian José Mauricio González and the Peruvian Jhon Cusi, in a tight race that the Ecuadorian knew how to deal with in the last laps thanks to his experience.
The Ecuadorian is the most successful athlete in his country in the history of the South American Championship, with thirteen medals, including eight gold, two silver and three bronze medals.
The victory of Piedra closed the first of three days of competition in the remodeled athletics stadium of the National Sports Village (Videna) in Lima, where in just two months the Pan American Games will be held.
Brazil was the dominator of the opening day to obtain gold in six of the fourteen finals that were held over the fine but persistent rain that was maintained throughout the day in the Peruvian capital.
One of the tests with Brazilian hegemony was the pole vault, the most anticipated of the championship to have Thiago Braz, the only Olympic champion registered in the tournament, who ran out of gold to the detriment of his compatriot Augusto Dutra, whose jump was 5.61 meters.
The Brazilian delegation swept the speed tests with two wins for Rodrigo Pereira and Cristina Silva in the 100 meters, with marks of 10.28 and 11.24 seconds, respectively.
Also in the 110 meters hurdles with Gabriel Oliveira, who made 13.54 seconds; and Tiffani Silva in the 400 meters with 52.81 seconds. The remaining gold from Brazil came from the hand of Andressa Oliveira in the discus throw when reaching 62.42 meters.
The only athletes of other nationalities who could win in the scheduled finals for Friday were the Colombian Anthony Zambrano in 400 meters with 45.53 seconds and the Venezuelan Génesis Romero in the 100 meters hurdle with 13.29 seconds.
Colombia closed the first day of competition with four golds, as in addition to Zambrano also rose at the top of the podium the Carolina Tabares long distance in the 10,000 meters, Mauricio Ortega in the discus throw and Yosiris Urrutia in the triple long jump .
Tabares won the inaugural round of the championship with a time of 33 minutes, 36 seconds and 77 hundredths, while Ortega won with a discus throw of 58.89 meters.
Without the Olympic champion Caterine Ibargüen on the track, after having desisted at the last minute of going to Lima, Urrutia won the triple jump test with comfort, thanks to an attempt of 13.85 meters, far from the 14.35 that came to jump last weekend in Barranquilla (Colombia).
The mediofondista Antonio Garrido was awarded the second gold of the day for Venezuela in the 1,500 meters with a time of 3 minutes, 55 seconds and 4 hundredths. In the female category of the same event, the Uruguayan María Pía Fernández won by scoring 4 minutes, 27 seconds and 44 hundredths.
In the South American athletics party also triumphed the Panamanian Alexander Bowen, who hung the gold in high jump by not breaking the bar located at 2.21 meters.
For the day of Saturday was pending the women’s final pole vault, which was postponed by the rain, and where the Venezuelan Robeilys Peinado, bronze at the World Championships in London 2017.
The South American Championship brings together almost 400 athletes from 13 countries in the Peruvian capital and the winners of each event qualify for the next World Cup in Doha (Qatar).