Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Atlete from Curacao wins gold medal 100 m Pan American Games!

Nos atleta a bolbe gana Oro!. Biba Churandy Martina. Biba Kòrsou!

Martina gives tiny Netherlands Antilles big gold medal

By Steve Keating

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Diminutive sprinter Churandy Martina powered to victory in the Panamerican 100 meters on Tuesday to give the tiny Netherlands Antilles its first medal of the Games.

Sandwiched between the two towering U.S. medal hopes Darvis Patton and James Samuels in the starting blocks, the 5-feet 8-inch, 150-pound Martina led from the gun, narrowly seeing off the American challenge with a winning time of 10.15 seconds.

Patton, the 200m silver medalist at the 2003 world championships, was once again forced to settle for runnerup honors, clocking 10.17 while Antigua's Brendan Christian took the bronze with 10.26 on drizzly night at Joao Havelange Stadium.

Martina's gold medal is only the fourth ever for the tiny group of Caribbean Sea islands at a Panam Games, and their first athletics triumph.

"It's very special," said Martina, who carried the flag to lead his country's three-member team into the stadium at the 2004 Athens Olympics opening ceremony.

"It's my first big title and I equaled the record in the heats and that was good too."

In a Games marred by bad crowd behavior, the 100m final became the latest event disrupted by Brazilian spectators.


As runners settled into their blocks, spectators in the end zone, whistled and jeered the sprinters causing two false starts.

"I was trying to get better than my 10.06 yesterday but there was too much noise," said Martina, who will run at the world championships next month in Japan. "On the second start I could barely hear, it was very distracting."

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