President of the National Association of Athletic Administration (NAAA), Ephraim Serrette was not surprised by Cleopatra Borel’s gold medal winning performance in the shot put at the Pan American Games in Toronto on Wednesday night. Borel became T&T’s first female gold medallist at the regional meet when she threw 18.67m, adding to her bronze in Brazil in 2007 and silver in Mexico in 2011.
Speaking to the Guardian yesterday, Serrette said Borel, who boasts a personal best of 19.42, had been the favourite to win. “She’s been competitive at higher level international meets so she should be comfortable at this level,” he said. “She is supposed to have won.” Serrette also commended the 36-year-old for managing to prolong her career for as long as she has.
“There were individuals who said she should have retired after the 2012 Olympics but she remains competitive and is a great example for females in the sport,” he said. “I think she has another Olympics in her. I don’t know what her plans are, whether she will go into coaching or not, but she would make a great mentor for female athletes.”
Serrette was also impressed by the efforts of sprinters Kelly Ann Baptiste and Semoy Hackett, who, after returning from suspensions earlier this year, placed fifth and eighth in the women’s 100m final respectively. “They both did well to make the finals, having just returned to high level competition,” he said. “They’re on their way back to the level to which they’re accustomed.”
However, he was disappointed that Keston Bledman could not convert his form into a medal in the men’s 100m final. “He was the class sprinter in that field and should have got a medal at least. He probably lost focus,” he said of the fourth place finisher. “I’m not sure if he’s nursing an injury. His performances throughout the qualifying rounds were comfortable. He just needed to deliver in the final.”