As of Wednesday, October 26, 2011
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Gwinnett Daily Post
Kibwe Johnson of the United States reacts on his record setting throw during the men's hammer throw finals at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, Wednesday Oct. 26, 2011. Johnson won the gold medal with a throw of 79.63m, setting a new Pan American record. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
GUADALAJARA, Mexico -- North Gwinnett grad Kibwe Johnson did what he could to set a Pan American Games record in the men's hammer throw Wednesday, and it worked.
Johnson, who won the first gold for the United States in track and field at this year's games, tossed the hammer 79.63 meters. The previous record of 79.61 meters was set by another American, Lance Deal, in Winnipeg in 1999.
"During the warm-up I wasn't quite sure where I was throwing, but after the first result I knew that I would be OK," Johnson said. "I thought I had a chance to break the Pan American record but you never really know. When I realized that I was throwing pretty hard, I knew I had a chance."