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Cuban Silva claims third straight Pan Ams pole vault title

LIMA (Reuters) - Cuba’s Yarisley Silva won her third consecutive Pan Am Games pole vault title with a gutsy last-ditch attempt on Thursday.

XVIII Pan American Games - Lima 2019 - Athletics - Women's Pole Vault Final - Athletics Stadium, Lima, Peru - August 8, 2019. Cuba's Yarisley Silva poses with Canada's Alysha Newman and Kathryn Nageotte of the U.S. on the podium after winning gold, bronze and silver respectively. REUTERS/Henry Romero

The 2015 world champion had fallen behind American Katie Nageotte after a second miss at 4.70 meters but after having the bar raised to 4.75 she cleared the height to claim victory.

A miss and Silva would have lost to Nageotte, who wound up with the silver at 4.70 after missing twice at 4.75 and once at 4.80.

Silva had almost gone out of the competition with two failures at 4.35 before staying alive with a third-attempt clearance.

Cuba also won gold in the heptathlon with Adriana Rodriguez scoring 6,113 points to defeat American Annie Kunz (5,990).

There was controversy in the women’s 400m hurdles with Canada’s Sage Watson winning in 55.16 seconds. She was temporarily disqualified for a lane violation before being reinstated after a review.

American Anna Cockrell took the silver.

The men’s race went to Brazil’s Alison dos Santos, who stormed to victory in 48.45 after leader Juander Santos of the Dominican Republic hit the final hurdle.

In the 400m, Jamaican Olympic bronze medalist Shericka Jackson claimed the women’s title in 50.73 with Colombian record holder Anthony Zambrano winning the men’s race in 44.83 ahead of Jamaica’s Demish Gaye (44.94).

Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was upstaged in the women’s 200m semi-finals by Brazil’s Vitoria Cristina Rosa.

South American champion Rosa, running in the third semi-final, clocked a personal best 22.72 to top two-time Olympic 100m gold medalist Fraser-Pryce’s 22.90 from the first race.

The men’s top time went to Ecuador’s Alex Quinonez in 20.41, well off his South American record of 19.87 he posted in finishing second to Noah Lyles’ yearly leading 19.50 in July.

Cuba’s Reynier Mena (20.56) and Panama’s Alonso Edward (20.65) won the other semi-finals.

St. Lucia’s Levern Spencer retained her women’s high jump title with fewer misses at 1.87m while Chile celebrated gold and silver in the hammer throw with South American champion Gabriel Kehr (74.98m) defeating team mate Humberto Mansilla (74.38m).

Mexico’s Jose Villarreal won the men’s 1,500m in 3:39.93 and Carolina Vargas of Costa Rica dominated the women’s 100m hurdles find in 12.82.

Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford