Ottawa. – Cuba’s defending champion Yorgelis Rodriguez and Yordani Garcia are the overnight leaders of the 2nd Pan American Combined Events Cup, which draws athletes from 12 countries at Ottawa’s Terry Fox Athletic Facility.
Rachel Machin and Patrick Arbour are Canada’s top ranked in seventh and tenth, respectively.
Two-time Olympian Garcia opened with 10.78 in 100m and kept the lead throughout the hot and humid day. The 24-year old ended Day1 of the Decathlon with the fastest 400m (49.47) to total 4224 points, ahead of USA’s Gray Horn (4108) and Cuba’s defending champion Jose A. Mendieta (4052).
“I felt very well, especially in the Long Jump. I had not jumped this far in a long while. It is a good meet to start the season. I look forward to a good second day,” said Garcia.
Ottawa Lions Patrick Arbour scored his second best Day 1 with 3646 to rank tenth. “I ran a PB in 100m and struggled a bit in the Shot Put, but stayed consistent. I had my second best (result) in the High Jump, but ran my worst 400m in three years. I went out too fast and blew up with 100m to go. My strongest events are on Day 2: 110m Hurdles, Discus and Javelin,” commented Arbour, who was nominated to represent Canada at the World University Games in Kazan this summer.
In the Heptathlon, World Junior gold medallist Rodriguez performed in a similar fashion, running a personal best of 13.68 in 100m Hurdles. She cleared 1.83 in the High Jump and dominated the Shot Put with 13.17. The 18-year old ended the first day with another personal best (24.29 in 200m) to take his tally to 3732.
Her training partner and 2011 World Youth Champion Yusleidys Mendieta (3584) and USA’s Lindsay Schwartz (3427) are trailing in second and third.
In only her third heptathlon, the first one competing for Team Canada, 21-year old Rachel Machin led the Canadian trio in seventh place with 3307 points, ahead of 2012 Pan American Combined Events Cup bronze medallist Jennifer Cotton (3258) and fellow University of Calgary athlete and Canadian Interuniversity indoor champion Rachel McIntosh (3205).
“This is my first heptathlon with team Canada. I ran a PB in 100m Hurdles (14.07) and I was very happy with my PB in the High Jump (1.86). I had three good events, but need to work on the Shot Put. I want to thank my coach Les Gramantik for my progress. I am excited about the Long Jump and Javelintomorrow,” said 21-year old Machin.
Organized by the Association of Pan American Athletics (APA) Athletics Canada and Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club, the Pan American Combined Events Cup is viewed by many federations as a great opportunity to develop up and coming athletes in the current cycle leading up to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
For full results, please go to http://ottlliveresults.x10.mx/Pan-Am/