LIMA (Reuters) – Jamaican discus thrower Fedrick Dacres wiped out one of the Pan Am Games oldest records and Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson, his compatriot, led 100 meters qualifying as they celebrated their nation’s Independence Day on Tuesday.
Defending champion Dacres launched the discus 67.68m on his second attempt to beat Cuban Luis Delis’s record of 67.32m set at the 1983 Games.
Dacres, building for September’s world championships, had set Jamaica’s national record of 70.78m earlier this year.
Another Games record fell when Natasha Wodak sparked a gold-bronze finish by Canada in the women’s 10,000m. Wodak won in a speedy 31 minutes 55.17 seconds, nearly four seconds ahead of Mexico’s Risper Gesabwa.
Rachel Cliff took third for Canada in 32:13.34.
All three runners were under the Games record of 32:41.33 set by Mexico’s Brenda Flores in Toronto in 2015.
British Virgin Islands long jumper Chantel Malone had every reason to celebrate after the 27-year-old national record holder won her nation’s first ever Games medal, taking gold by leaping 6.68m to narrowly defeat American Keturah Orji.
Thompson, the Rio Games double gold medalist, cruised home in 11.36 seconds, well off her season’s best of 10.73, but enough to shade Brazil’s South American champion Vitoria Cristina Rosa (11.40) in their semi-final.
Commonwealth Games winner Michelle-Lee Ahye of Trinidad and Tobago was just off Thompson’s time in winning the first semi-final in 11.37 and Canada’s Crystal Emmanuel took the third race in 11.48 to set up Wednesday’s final.
Brazilians won two of the three men’s 100m semis.
Rodrigo do Nascimento clocked 10.27 seconds to beat U.S. favorite Mike Rodgers by two-hundredths of a second, and Paulo Andre de Oliveira equaled Rodgers’ time of 10.29 to win his race.
Antigua’s Cejhae Greene took the other semi in 10.31.
Brazil struck gold in the women’s discus when Andressa de Morais threw a personal best of 65.98m to upset Cuba’s Yaime Pere, while Mexico’s Fernando Daniel Martinez Estrada won the men’s 5,000 in 13:53.87.
There was some bad news for the Games, however, when Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas withdrew.
(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford)