With PanAm gold, Colombia's Pajon shows she still the best in BMX
Colombia's Mariana Pajon raises her arm in triumph after crossing the line first in the women's BMX final at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima on Friday, Aug. 9. EFE-EPA/Martin Alipaz
Colombia's Mariana Pajon receives the gold medal in women's BMX at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima on Friday, Aug. 9. EFE-EPA/Martin Alipaz
Ecuador's Alfredo Campo celebrates winning the gold medal in men's BMX at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima on Friday, Aug. 9. EFE-EPA/Martin Alipaz
Ecuador's Alfredo Campo (L) leads the men's BMX final at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima on Friday, Aug. 9. EFE-EPA/Martin Alipaz
Lima, Aug 9 (efe-epa).- Colombia's Mariana Pajon, the reigning two-time Olympic champion in women's BMX, won the gold medal here Friday at the 2019 Pan American Games.
The 27-year-old Colombian made her way around the track on Lima's Costa Verde beach in 36.323 seconds.
Paola Reis of Brazil took the silver medal, with a time of 37.583 seconds, while Venezuela's Stefany Hernandez claimed the bronze, completing the course in 38.106 seconds.
Pajon, who rode her first race at the age of 4, has popularized BMX in Colombia. Besides her triumphs in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, she also won gold at the 2011 Pan American Games.
The Colombian star went home empty-handed from the 2015 Pan Am final in Toronto after taking a tumble in the final race.
Talking to reporters after her victory on Friday, Pajon dedicated the gold medal to compatriot Egan Bernal, who last month became the first Latin American to win the Tour de France.
"Egan motivated me to win this medal. Thank you to the country for believing in us," she said.
Earlier Friday, Ecuador's Alfredo Campo snagged the gold medal in the men's BMX final in Lima, positioning himself to compete at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
"Fulfilling all these processes, we will reach Tokyo and we're going to fight for that medal," he said after prevailing over Anderson Ezequiel de Souza of Brazil and Argentine cyclist Federico Villegas, who came away with the silver and bronze, respectively.
Campo said his first feeling on crossing the finish line was "relief."
"Normally, we only do six laps in a competition, today it was seven on an extremely demanding track, he said. EFE