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Cleopatra Borel claimed T&T’s first gold medal of the 2015 Pan American Games when she threw 18.67m to win the Women’s Shot Put title at the CIBC Athletics Stadium in Toronto last night.

Borel managed the distance on her second of six attempts to narrowly outperform American Jillian Camarena Williams, who threw 18.65m on her final throw. Chile’s Natalia Duco nabbed the bronze with 18.01m.

Her performance bumped T&T up to 14th of 25 countries on the medal list with one gold, one silver (Njisane Phillip) and one bronze (George Bovell) while it marked her first gold and third medal at the Pan Ams following a bronze in Brazil in 2007 and silver in Mexico in 2011.

Borel, 36, has been in excellent touch in recent times, having also won the gold during the Istvan Gyulai Memorial in Hungary on July 7.

Meanwhile, sprinters Keston Bledman and Kelly Ann Baptiste were unable to add to T&T’s medal count after narrowly failing to reach the podium in the Men’s and Women’s 100m respectively.

Bledman clocked 10.12 to place fourth in his final, finishing behind local hero Andre De Grasse, who won the gold in 10.05, Bajan Ramon Gittens (10.07) and St Kitts and Nevis’ Antoine Adams (10.09). Baptiste had to settle for fifth after stopping the clock in 11.05 as Jamaican Sherone Simpson won the gold in 10.95. Ecuador’s Angela Tenorio won silver in 10.99 and American Barbara Pierre grabbed bronze in 11.01. T&T’s Semoy Hackett (11.16) managed eighth.

Bledman and Baptiste had earlier won their semifinals with Bledman timing 10.10 to edge American Remontay McClain (10.11) and Gittens (10.15) and Baptiste (11.05) finishing ahead of Ecuador’s Angela Tenorio (11.10) and Brazil’s Ana Claudia Silva (11.13). Hackett’s fifth place finish in the other semifinal in 11.16 was just enough for her to advance.

Also in action for T&T last night was Sparkle McKnight, who managed fifth place in the Women’s 400m Hurdles final in 57.30. American Shamier Little took the gold in 55.50 while Canadian Sarah Wells (56.17) and Uruguay’s Deborah Rodriguez (56.41) won silver and bronze respectively.

Earlier in the day, both Jarrin Solomon and Machel Cedeno qualified for tonight’s Men’s 400m final with solid runs. Solomon placed third in his semi in 46.16, finishing behind Luguelin Santos of Dominican Republic (45.72) and American Kyle Clemons (45.75), while Cedenio (46.06) was runner up in the other semifinal, beaten by Nery Brenes of Costa Rica (45.85).

Emmanuel Mayers missed out on the Men’s 400m Hurdles final when he came third in his semi. His 50.81 put him behind Jamaican Leford Green and Puerto Rican Javier Culson while the round’s slowest qualifier was Bahamas’s Jeffrey Gibson in 50.74.

Deandra Daniel placed 15th in the Women’s High Jump final, with 1.75m. Her event was won by St Lucian Levern Spencer in 1.94m.

Janeil Bellille was eliminated from the Women’s 400m when she finished seventh in her semifinal, clocking 54.41. American Shakima Williams nabbed first in 52.28.

In cycling Emile Abraham did not start in the Men’s Individual Time trials, which he had been carded to enter.

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Cleopatra Borel is the very first woman and only the sixth Trinidad and Tobago athlete in history to strike gold at the Pan American Games. She joins cycling’s triple gold medallist Roger Gibbon, swimming’s two-time champion George Bovell, two other cyclists, Leslie King and Gene Samuel, and weightlifter Rodney Wilkes.

Borel held off a spirited challenge from United States thrower Jillian Camarena-Williams at the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletics Stadium in Toronto, Canada, yesterday to capture the women’s shot put title.

The T&T veteran’s winning effort of 18.67 metres came in round two. In the sixth and final round, Camarena-Williams came close to overhauling Borel, the American throwing the iron ball 18.65m to claim silver.

But in the end, it was a deserving victory for Borel. She had the best series on the day, bettering 18 metres with her first four throws – 18.39m, 18.67m, 18.56m and 18.24m. The Mayaro field athlete fouled her fifth attempt. And then, with the ninth T&T gold medal in the 64-year history of the Pan Am Games already assured, she threw 17.81m in round six.

Bronze went to Chile’s Natalia Duco with an 18.01m throw.

Borel now has a complete set of Pan Am Games medals--yesterday’s gold, silver in 2011, and bronze in 2007. She has joined an elite group of T&T athletes with three or more medals at the hemispheric Games.

Bovell is the “club president” with six medals—two gold, two silver, two bronze. Sprinter Mike Agostini has five medals--two silver, three bronze. Two of Agostini’s medals were captured for T&T at the 1955 Games, while the other three, including a 4x100m bronze, were earned as part of a British West Indies team four years later.

Gibbon is next on the list with three gold medals and a silver for a grand total of four. And Samuel is tied for fourth with Borel at three medals apiece. Samuel also has a complete set—gold, silver and bronze.

Keston Bledman finished just outside the medals in yesterday’s men’s 100 metres dash. The T&T sprinter clocked 10.12 seconds for fourth spot.

Canadian Andre De Grasse was golden in 10.05. Barbadian Ramon Gittens seized silver in 10.07, while bronze was bagged by St Kitts and Nevis athlete Antoine Adams in 10.09.

Earlier, Bledman won the first men’s century semifinal in 10.10 seconds.

Kelly-Ann Baptiste was fifth in the women’s 100m final, the T&T track star getting to the line in 11.05 seconds.

Sherone Simpson, running way out in lane eight, upset the field, the Jamaican grabbing gold in 10.95 seconds. Nineteen-year-old Ecuadorian Angela Tenorio stole silver with a personal best 10.99 run, forcing American Barbara Pierre to settle for bronze in 11.01.

In a close contest for fourth spot, Brazilian Rosangela Santos clocked 11.04 seconds to just get the better of Baptiste.

Canadian Khamica Bingham was sixth in 11.13, while seventh spot went to Brazil’s Claudia Ana Silva (11.15).

Another T&T sprinter, Semoy Hackett finished eighth in a season’s best 11.16 seconds.

In the semis, Baptiste topped heat one in a wind-aided 11.05 seconds, while Hackett was fifth in heat two in a windy 11.16. Hackett progressed to the championship race as a “fastest loser”.

T&T’s Sparkle McKnight finished fifth in the women’s 400m hurdles final. Coming off the final turn, McKnight was in contention for bronze, but faded on the home straight and finished outside the medals. Shamier Little stamped her class on the race, the American running away with gold in 55.50 seconds. Canadian Sarah Wells (56.17) and Uruguay’s Deborah Rodriguez (56.41) picked up silver and bronze, respectively.

Machel Cedenio and Jarrin Solomon square off against each other today in the 7.20pm men’s 400m final. Both T&T quartermilers progressed automatically from the semis.

Cedenio clocked 46.06 seconds to finish second in the second heat, while Solomon clocked 46.16 for third spot in the opening semi. Dominican Republic’s 2012 Olympic silver medallist Luguelin Santos won heat one in 45.72. And in heat two, Costa Rican Nery Brenes was home first in 45.85.

Cedenio has been drawn in lane six for the championship race, alongside Santos, in five. Solomon, however, will have his work cut out way out in lane eight.

Emanuel Mayers was third in the second of three men’s 400m hurdles semifinal heats. The T&T athlete crossed the line in 50.81 seconds to secure ninth spot overall, just missing out on the eight-man final.

Janeil Bellille bowed out of the women’s 400m event when she finished seventh in the opening semifinal in 54.41 seconds.

Deandra Daniel’s 1.75m clearance earned the T&T athlete 15th spot in the women’s high jump. St Lucia’s Levern Spencer topped the field with a 1.94m jump. Antigua’s Priscilla Frederick and Barbadian Akela Jones captured silver and bronze, respectively, both jumpers clearing the bar at 1.91m.

From 7.05 this evening, Quincy Wilson will battle for honours in the men’s discus. This morning, Reyare Thomas and Kamaria Durant run in the opening round of the women’s 200m. And in the men’s 200m, Kyle Greaux and Rondel Sorrillo will face the starter.

In men’s hockey, T&T square off against United States at 11.30am in a 5th to 8th playoff match. Late on Tuesday, T&T were blanked 3-0 by Canada in a quarterfinal fixture.

In a Pool “B” match-up, last Saturday, the Americans edged T&T 2-1.

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Wednesday July 22nd, Toronto, Canada– Shot-putter and reigning Sportswoman of the year Cleopatra Borel won Trinidad and Tobago its first gold medal at this years Pan Am games, claiming the title with a throw of 18.67 metres. Borel had previously won silver and bronze at the 2011 and 2007 Pan Am Games respectively.  In winning gold, Borel becomes the first athlete to receive the gold medal bonus of US $3000 from the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) 10Golds24 Athlete Welfare and Preparation fund.

 

Following the win in what is her last Pan Am Games Borel said, “It was a relief. I’m happy I achieved the goal of what my coach and I have been working towards. Now I have a complete set of medals, a bronze from Rio, Silver from Mexico and now Gold.”  Next up for her will be the World Championships, and Borel said tonight’s gold medal puts her in a good place with regards to her preparation.

 

Sprinters Keston Bledman, Kelly Ann Baptiste and Semoy Hackett were unable to add to Trinidad and Tobago’s medal haul despite impressive performances leading up to the 100m sprint final. Bledman ran faster in the semi finals, turning in a time of 10.10 in advancing. He ran a 10.12 in his fourth place finish in the men’s 100m final, which was won by Canadian Andre De Grasse in 10.05.

 

Baptiste won her semi final in 11.05, the exact same time she ran in the finals. Hackett also equalled her semi-final and seasons best time of 11.16 in the finals.

 

Following her semi final run Baptiste said, “My start really wasn’t on and it usually is but I executed my finish better than I have been doing in a while.” She echoed similar sentiments after the final saying, “I didn’t get a good start so it was difficult to take the lead in the end.”

 

In the women’s 400m hurdles final, quarter miler Sparkle McKnight also missed out on a medal finishing 5th in a time of 57.30. Following the race McKnight expressed disappointment saying, “I really wanted to win a medal but it didn’t happen so I just have to move forward.”

 

Earlier in the day fellow quarter milers Jarrin Solomon and World Junior Champion Machel Cedenio advanced to tomorrows men’s 400m final. Solomon qualified with a time of 46.16 while Cedenio ran 46.06. Of their performances Manager of the athletics team George Comissiong said “It feels good to have two athletes in the 400 final. We brought Jarrin in for Rennny Quow and that’s proven to be a good call thus far. Right now their times don’t matter because the aim today was just to qualify but I’ll be elated if they both medal.”

 

In the women’s 400m semi final Janeil Bellille finished 7th in a time of 54.41 and did not advance. After the race Bellille said, “I feel bad but it’s not my event so I’m not feeling too bad. I’ve already run the standards for worlds so that’s next.”

Competing in the men’s 400m hurdles, Emmanuel Mayers finished 3rd in semi final two in a time of 50.81 and did not advance to the finals. In the women’s high jump, Deandra Daniel finished 15th out of 16 competitors.

 

Track and field action continues tomorrow with the men’s 400m finals, men’s and women’s 200m qualifying, and the men’s discus final. In field hockey, the men’s team will take on the United States in the 5th -8th round match.

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Tuesday July 21st, Toronto, Canada– Trinidad and Tobago’s medal hunt on the track got off to a blazing start with Keston Bledman, Semoy Hackett and Kelly Ann Baptiste advancing to the semi finals of the 100m sprint event.

 

Bledman won his heat comfortably in 9.95 saying, “It was a good race. The wind was nice; the atmosphere was nice so it feels good. I’m just coming here and trying to execute one step at a time.” There was a bit of drama for his compatriot Marcus Duncan who faced the starter in the previous heat. There appeared to be an echo on the gun 40m into the race, which caused two of the runners to stop. Duncan slowed down and then was forced to play catch up. The race was eventually recalled, but Duncan didn’t seem to have anything left in the tank.  He eventually finished 7th in a time of 10.52 and didn’t advance.

 

On the women’s side, Kelly-Ann Baptiste and Semoy Hackett both qualified for the semi finals of the women’s 100m. Baptiste won her heat in 11.07 and said, “the aim was to qualify as easy as possible and I think I did that.” Hackett her roommate for this year’s Pan Am games ran a season’s best of 11.17 to advance to the next round.

 

In the quarter mile event, Sparkle McKnight won the first 400m hurdles heat in a season’s best time time of 56.56. Following the race she said, “It felt good, the wind was strong but I just wanted to win my heat and make it to the finals. I feel good about making the finals so I’m out to contend for a medal and do my best.” Her compatriot Joseanne Lucas finished seventh with an uncharacteristically slow time of 1:00:30 and did not advance.  Of her performance Lucas said, "I'm disappointed in the run. The race doesn't truly reflect my condition for the year. I'll just move on to the next one."

 

Triple Jumper Ayanna Alexander finished 8th in the women’s triple jump finals. Her furthest distance was 13.83. Over in the women’s 800m semfinal, Alena Brooks finished 5th in time of 2:07:84 and did not advance.

 

In field hockey, the men’s team lost 3-0 to Canada. The Men’s football team took an early lead in their final match versus Mexico, but could not hold on and went on to lose the game 4-2.

 

Track and field action continues tomorrow with the men’s 400m, semi-finals and finals for the 100m men and women, and the 400m hurdles final.

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altOctober 30 - The 2011 Pan American Games drew to a conclusion exactly where it begun 17 days ago as the Omnilife Stadium staged a wonderful Closing Ceremony that embraced everything that is colourful, vibrant, passionate and exciting about the Mexican culture.

But perhaps the most telling moment of the event came when Emilio Gonzalez Marquez, the President of the Guadalajara 2011 Organising Committee and Governor of Jalisco, revealed the city will put forward a bid for the Olympics and Paralympics following the successful hosting of the Pan American Games.

"At this Pan American Games, we have built confidence, pride, recognition," said Marquez in a speech to the crowd.

"We trust in ourselves, in our ability and we work to do great things.

"Thanks for making these Pan American Games the great celebration of America."

A bid for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics is now on the cards, which would be the first time Mexico has hosted the Games since Mexico City in 1968.

"We have done things right here so now we go for the Olympics," said Marquez.

"Now we are on the Olympics and Viva Mexico!"

His speech was followed by Pan American Sports Organisation (PASO) President Mario Vázquez Raña taking the microphone to declare the event officially closed; describing it as the best Pan American Games ever.

"We all know that the road to get here was long and very difficult to navigate but we got a firm foundation in the end," said Rana.

"A special thanks goes to Emilio Gonzalez Marquez.

"Thank you Governor and as President of the Organising Committee, congratulations on achieving the best Pan American Games in history.

"On behalf of the Pan American Sports Organisation, on October 30, 2011, I solemnly declare closed the sixteenth Pan American Games Guadalajara 2011.

"Thank you very much and see you in Toronto 2015."

The arena was unsurprisingly sold-out with 50,000 screaming Mexican fans crammed in to create a deafening atmosphere that proved the perfect complement to the event that unfolded in front of them.

The Ceremony began by showing highlights from the event before the athletes and officials entered as one to watch the speeches from the Marquez and Rana.

It was then that the Mexican theme of the Ceremony was halted temporarily as Toronto, who will host the next edition of the Pan American Games in 2015, took centre stage in what was a superb eight-minute segment from the Canadian city.

altIn an enthralling Handover Ceremony, that saw symbolically Guadalajara pass the PASO flag to the Mayor of Toronto Rob Ford, a group of dancers entertained the crowd as images of Toronto's magnificent skyline, featuring the iconic CN Tower, were portrayed and Jazz singer Florence K sang the national anthem.

Shortly after, Jamaican group the Wailers took to the stage performing reggae music that delighted both the athletes and crowd in a string of performance that also saw Argentinian pop singer Diego Torres perform.

But the spectacular finale came as Puerto Rican pop singer Ricky Martin emerged and bought the crowd to their feet with his exuberant single "Livin' la Vida Loca," the song that saw him catapult to international stardom back in 1999.

As Martin's electrifying performance ended, a colourful array of fireworks bought the Ceremony to an end as Mexico celebrated successfully hosting their biggest sporting event since the 1986 World Cup.

In total, the 2011 Pan American Games saw over 6,000 athletes compete across 36 sports and it was America who dominated as they topped the medal table with a huge total of 236, 92 of which were gold.

Cuba were second with 136 medals and 58 golds while Brazil finished third with 141 medals and 48 golds.

Hosts Mexico finished just outside the top three positions as their 133 medals, 42 of which were gold, saw them take fourth place.

Source: www.insidethegames.biz

By Tom Degun

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