Cuban José Figueroa proved that his victory in last year’s Pan American Championship was no accident, as he came through once more with a very strong showing in this year’s competition with a spectacular performance, and his second consecutive continental championship.
José had a very strong competition during the whole day as he finished in second place in fencing with 255 points, first in the riding event with a perfect 300 and second in the combined event with a final time of 11.37. Although he started 2 seconds behind Nathan Schrimsher of the USA, he came out of the first shooting round in first place and was never challenged in the rest of the combined event.
The battle for second was fierce, as Nathan Schrimsher had to hold off several challengers who were on his heels during the second half of the combined event. In the end he was able to outsprint Emmanuel Zapata of Argentina in a very exciting finish. Nathan scored 1432 points to Emmanuel’s 1431.
Charles Fernandez of Guatemala at only 18 years of age was a pleasant surprise as he finished fourth with 1426 points despite an equipment malfunction that kept him off the podium. He will be somebody to watch at the world level.
Veteran Joshua Riker-Fox of Canada showed everybody that he is serious about his comeback as he prepares to compete in his home country next year in the Pan Am Game as he completed a very solid performance and finished fifth with 1423 points.
Manuel Padilla of Mexico was sixth with 1414 points, Chilean Esteban Bustos, who won the combined event with a time of 11.32, was seventh with 1411 points and Ismael Hernandez of Mexico rounded off the top eight as he earned 1408 points. Special mention should go to David Ruales from Ecuador who was ninth with 1404 points and the best performance up to now by an athlete from that nation.
In the rest of the individual events Joshua Riker-Fox won the fencing event with 260 points and Leandro Silva of Argentina was the fastest swimmer with a time of 2.04.35.
Once again, the horses provided by the Mexican army gave a great show as the top ten athletes had perfect rounds and twenty athletes scored over 290 points.
The men were also competing for their second spot in the Toronto 2015 Games based on the placing of their second athlete in this competition. Those nations that have assured a second athlete in Toronto are: Mexico, Cuba, USA, Guatemala, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Canada, Venezuela, Peru and Dominican Republic.