Three New Parapan American Records in Finals of 100 Meters

The records fell in the male's T36, T53, and T54 classes. In the women's T37, Karen Palomeque secured her third gold in Santiago 2023.

Friday, November 24th, 2023.- Parapan American records kept falling one by one on the track of the Centro Atlético Mario Recordón of the Estadio Nacional, during the finals of the 100 meters that concluded Friday's events at Santiago 2023.

The first one was in the T36 class (cerebral palsy), where Argentine Alexis Chávez surpassed the Lima 2019 time (12''24) with a time of 11''83, adding a second gold in these Games as he had already won the 400 meters.

He was followed by Brazilian Ases Almeida (12''18), who had won gold in the long jump, and Argentine Fabricio López (12''24), bronze medalist in the 400.

"It's very nice for me, and the best part is that I lowered my time, which is what I wanted," said Chávez.

In the T53 class (wheelchair), Brazilian Ariosvaldo Fernandes set a new record with 14''92, beating his own record in Guadalajara 2011 (15''08).

The owner of 13 Parapan American medals (gold in Rio 2007, Guadalajara 2011, and Lima 2019, plus silver in Toronto 2015 in this category), now has two victories in Santiago, after winning the 400.

He was followed by two familiar faces from the track, as the silver went to the American Robert Hunt (15''43), bronze in the 400, and his compatriot Phillip Croft (15''79), silver in the 400 and bronze in the 5,000 meters.

"I am very happy with this result, again champion of America," said Fernandes.

In the T54 category (wheelchairs), Mexican Juan Pablo Cervantes also set a new Parapan American record, beating the time he had set in Lima 2019 (14''17).

For his second medal in Santiago 2023, as he also won the 400 meters, he surpassed Brazilian Cristian Westermaier (14''34), who had also placed second in the 400 (in addition to bronze in the 800), and the American Evan Correl (14''54), bronze in the 400 and gold in the 5,000.

"I am very happy because the goal of breaking the record was achieved. It means a lot of work and discipline, plus a decision from the coach. I thank him a lot because he trusted me," said Cervantes.

In the 100 meters T64 (lower limb physical disability competing with prosthetics), Costa Rican Sherman Guity ran 10''89 to celebrate the speed "double," as he also won the 200.

The Central American, who beat Americans Jonathan Gore (11''26) and Zachary Blair (11''81, who thus surpassed the Peruvian Jesús Castillo by a thousandth), could not break the continental record, although that did not affect his spirits.

"I am very happy to return to Costa Rica with another medal. I came for chicken and end up taking two golds. It is a long preparation work because I could not be in the last Parapan Americans. These medals represent all the obstacles I have had to overcome to get here," he said.

In the only women's decision of the hundred meters in the epilogue of the day, class T37 (cerebral palsy), Colombian Karen Palomeque won her third gold medal at Santiago 2023.

Her time was 12''77, which could well have been enough to surpass her own world record, and the fifth of its kind at these Parapan Americans, but the wind on the track exceeded the allowed limit.

Palomeque beat American Taylor Swanson (13''01), also silver in the 200, and Brazilian Marcely Pedroso (14''22), third in the double hectometer.

"I feel excited and very happy to take home the three gold medals (in addition to the 100, in 200 and 400). Now comes the mixed relay (on Saturday), and we'll see how it goes. I have worked a lot to get three medals, and obtaining them is a pride for me," said the Colombian.

Written by Macarena Navias; translated by Paulette Bertín | Santiago 2023 vía Photosport
Photo by Marcelo Hernandez / Santiago 2023 vía Photosport