San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica's Brenes wins 400m heat, advances

Limon´s Nery Brenes´ performance Sunday in the third heat of the men´s 400 meter race at the Beijing Olympics is so far Costa Rica´s shining moment at the 2008 games.

Brenes won his heat with a time of 45.36 seconds, sending him into the semifinals. Bahamian Christ Brown had the fastest qualifying time at 44.79. U.S. runner Michael Johnson set the 43.18 world record in 1999.

Brenes´ personal bests put him fourth out of the nine runners slated in that semifinal, the slowest of the three semifinal groups, which will take place to take place today at 7:45 a.m.

The top two finishers in each heat will advance to the finals, as well as the two runners with the next-best times.

Allan Segura finished 39th out of 49 finishers in the 20–kilometer race walk with a time of 1:27.10, eight minutes behind the winner.

Marianela Quesada finished eighth of eight in heat 6 of the women´s 50-meter freestyle with a time of 28.11 seconds. No one from her heat advanced to the semifinals.

Britta Steffen of Germany eventually won gold in that event with an Olympic record of 24.06. U.S. Olympian Dara Torres set an Americas record of 24.07 seconds to take silver.

In the women´s marathon, Gabriela Traña ranked 68th out of 69 finishers and 82 competitors with a time of 2:53:45. Romanian Constantina Tomescu won the event with a time of 2:26:44.

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