Karen Palomeque Is Queen of Track in Santiago 2023 with Five Golds

The Colombian led her team to victory in the universal 4x100 relay, her final medal in this edition of the Parapan American Games.

Saturday, November 25th, 2023.- Colombian athlete Karen Palomeque was the undisputed queen of the track at the Santiago 2023 Parapan American Games, securing an impressive five gold medals over the five days of competition at the Centro Atlético Mario Recordón of the Estadio Nacional. 

Her final medal came in the universal 4x100 relay, where she led her team, also composed of Angie Pabón, Joan Lasso, and Sairo Fernández, to victory. The Caribbean team completed the distance in 48.65 seconds, in a tight finish with the Brazilian quartet, winning by just three hundredths of a second (48.68). 

The bronze went to the United States, also very close to victory, with a time of 48.90 seconds. Mexico finished fourth at a distance, with 52.22 seconds. 

Palomeque's teammate, Joan Lasso, mentioned that they had come together to train four months ago, as they are from different regions of Colombia, but when they arrived in Chile, they said, "Let's go for the gold." 

"We had very tough rivals, like Brazil and the United States, who had set world records. But we competed on an equal footing, gave it our all," he said. 

In addition to the relay, Palomeque also won gold in the 100, 200, and 400 meters, as well as in the long jump, with a leap of 4.66 meters, surpassing the American Catarina Guimaraes (4.40) and the Canadian Tianna Rissling (4.17). 

In the T47 100 meters (physical disability in upper limbs), Ecuadorian Kiara Rodríguez became the new owner of the Parapan American record, clocking 11.96 seconds, securing her second gold in Santiago 2023 (she won the long jump). 

The silver went to Brazilian Fernanda da Silva (12.49), who also won the 400 meters and finished second in the 200. The podium was completed by Canadian Sheriauna Haase (12.56), bronze in the 200. 

"I am excited about the result, knowing that I achieved the Parapan American record and that I was very close to the world record (11.89)," said Rodríguez. 

In the T53 100 meters (wheelchair), Bermudian Jessica Lewis emerged victorious (16.71), giving her country its first gold medal at Santiago 2023 and also setting the Parapan American record. 

The silver went to the American Chelsea Stein (18.55), and the bronze went to the Mexican Lucero Vázquez (18.61) 

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