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Yipsi Moreno

Cuba and the United States each won two gold medals while the host Brazil also took one on the first day of athletics competitions at the 15th Pan American Games on Monday.

Yipsi Moreno of Cuba won the women's hammer with a mark of 75.20 meters, followed by her teammate Arasay Thondike in the second place at 68.70. The bronze medal went to Jennifer Dahlgren of Argentina in 68.37.

Cuba also won the day's women's discus throw event through Yarelis Barrios at 61.72 meters. Another Cuban Yania Ferrales was only one centmeter behind for the silver, followed by Elisangela Bdriano of Brazil 60.27.

"I could have competed better. I had two invalid throws, but I didn't give up and I won the competition. I achieved my goal, that was to win this medal." said Moreno after winning the hammer throw title.

"I have practiced a lot to succeed in the games, but I wasn't expecting to overcome myself. With today's results, I believe the world record is not as far as I thought. Now I have to train more." Moreno said.

The United States won the two long distance running events of the day--men's 5,000 meters and women's 10,000 meters.

Sara Slattery clocked 32 minutes 54.41 seconds for the women's event while Ed Moran took the men's race at 13:25.60.

"This is the first time I win a gold and it thrills me. It was a tiring race, but the thrill of the victory brings great happiness. I thank all my team for the support." said Sara Slattery after winning the women's 10,000 meters.

Brazil won the athletics gold in the women's pole vault as Fabiana Murer cleared 4.60 meters to beat April Steiner of the United States and Yarisley Silva of Cuba to the second and third places respectively.

Brazil also won the titles of women's modern pentathlon and men's wakeboard of water ski. Canada won the remaining two gold medals, both from water ski, out of the nine finals contested on Monday.

The United States ended the day on top of the medal table with 147 medals, including 60 gold. Cuba is second with 31-14-20, and host Brazil third with 29-23-39.

A total of 121 gold medals are still at stake before the Pan Ams close on Sunday.


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