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.