TT women’s shot put athlete Cleopatra Borel, through her foundation, plans to increase the number of events for field athletes in this country in an effort to give them more opportunities to compete in preparation for regional and international meets.
The Cleopatra Borel Foundation Throws Meet was held at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, in Mucurapo, yesterday. A number of different events took place including shot put, discus, javelin and pole vault. The events comprised athletes from a variety of age groups such as Under-17, Under-20 and senior athletes.
Borel, a multiple medal winner in regional and international meets in the women’s shot put, said, “The objective of the competition is to give the athletes in the throwing events an opportunity to compete because the Hasely Crawford Stadium is one of the only stadia in TT that can host all the throwing events and as a result the athletes have not had (many events).” Borel said athletes need more competition, especially for the junior athletes, who are preparing for Carifta trials next weekend. “It is really difficult as an athlete to make the standard and to compete well when you have not had the in competition practice, so we trying to provide one opportunity prior to Carifta trials and hopefully, we can provide a couple more opportunities as the year progresses.”
The four-time Olympian said she wants to help the athletes through her foundation. “Additionally, from the individuals that are showing interest here today, we want to be able to liaise with them and to support them on a daily basis as they try to develop as athletes. This is all through my foundation – The Cleopatra Borel Foundation. We are going to see if we could help with equipment, coaching, strength and conditioning.”
In the women’s discus, it was a close finish between senior athletes Shawna Downey and Keianne Blackman with the former winning gold by less than a metre. Downey’s best throw was 38.99m, Blackman had to settle for silver with a 38.01m effort and Under-20 athlete Elizabeth Galera was not far behind with a throw of 36.03m.
In the women’s shot put, Gwendolyn Smith (senior) copped gold with a 13.66m throw, followed by Under-20 athlete Iyanna Roach (13.08m) and Downey won her second medal on the day earning bronze with an 11.26m attempt.
In the men’s discus, senior athlete Keon Francis easily won gold with a 45.05m throw. Joel Andrews (Under-20) grabbed silver with a 36.65m attempt and Under-17 representative Jaden James took bronze with a 34.96m effort.
Under-20 athlete Gyasi Boisson was the winner in the men’s shot put with a 14.18m throw, Jamaal Alexander (Under-20) was second with a distance of 12.85m and James snatched another bronze medal with a 11.78m performance.