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.