South American Games 2022
South American Games 2022
The XII South American Games ended on October 15. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from the Games.
The XII South American Games was a multi-sport event held between 1-15 October 2022 in Asuncion, Paraguay. The games witnessed the participation of almost 5000 athletes from 15 countries in 34 different sports. Along with the 34 sports, padel and chess were being contested as exhibition/demonstration sports.
The games were collaboratively organised by the South American Sports Organization (ODESUR), the Paraguayan Olympic Committee, the government of the Republic of Paraguay, and the local National Secretary of Sports.
The journey to organise the games was met with various obstacles including Paraguay’s economic crisis, the global pandemic, and supply delays caused by the Ukraine-Russia war.
In 2019, during Paraguay’s financial crisis, authorities announced their withdrawal from this commitment. However, the continuous efforts of sports leaders, as well as ODESUR, made it possible to host the Games. The sports and government authorities of Paraguay were also able to cut down on the budget from USD 180 million to 80 million, making it feasible to host this mega event.
The games turned out to be a noteworthy event, with several records broken and many glorious victories. Here are a few highlights from the games.
Brazil dominates the South American Games
Brazil topped the charts at the Games with a total of 319 medals, including 133 golds. One of the highlights includes Brazilians Caio Bonfim and Viviane Lyra claiming the winning titles for the inaugural 35km race walks. In addition, Lucas Rodrigues da Silva, aged 21, won the men’s 200m finals, and Wellington Morais won the men’s shot put competition in 20.00 metres.
Panama bags its fifth ever gold
Chamar Chambers, a 24-year old athlete, got Panama its fifth ever gold at these Games when he claimed the first position in the 800m race. Clocking in at 1:24.99, Chambers also managed to set a national record. Before this win, Panama had only won four South American Games golds, with titles won by Alonso Edward at 100m (2014 and 2018), Irving Saladino in long jump (2014) and Ivette Lewis in the 100m hurdles (2014).
Michigan State golfer represents homeland at the SAG
Valentina Rossie, a Michigan State women’s golfer, represented her native land, Argentina, at the South American Games 2022. While Rossie has represented her country at other international fora, this was the first time she participated in the South American Games. The SAG offered her a first-time experience at a multi-sport competition. Rossie managed to lead her team to win a gold medal at the Games, marking an important victory for Argentina.
Argentine sprinters shine
After a series of disappointing performances,, the South American Games proved to be a breakthrough for Argentine short distance runners, with Franco Forio and Elian Larregina winning gold in the 100 and 400 metre categories, respectively. 22-year-old Forio became the second Argentine short distance runner to have won a gold medal in the 100m category at the South American Games, after Gerardo Meinardi’s victory in 1986.
This year, the SAG also saw many athletes break various records in their respective sports. Ecuador’s Brian Pintado delivered a spectacular performance by winning the 20 km walk race in 1:19:43, making a new Games record and retaining his 2018 title.
Glenda Morejon, also from Ecuador, triumphed in the women’s race and set a new record of 1:31,34. Chile’s Gabriel Kehr, the 2019 Pan American Champion, was the men’s hammer champion at the games, beating world finalist Humberto Mansilla and setting a new Games record of 76.81 metres. Finally, Argentina’s Federico Bruno brought his country’s first title in the men’s 5000m race, while also creating a new Games record.