'NINETEEN IS A MILESTONE FOR ME': Cleopatra Borel

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Borel wins in Cuba with 19-plus heave

By Kwame Laurence kwame.laurence@trinidadexpress.com

Cleopatra Borel regained her 19-metre form at the Copa Cuba in Havana, Cuba, on Wednesday. The Trinidad and Tobago athlete threw the iron ball 19.10 metres to strike gold in the women’s shot put.

Prior to the Copa Cuba, the last time Borel threw 19 metres was back in 2011. Her best effort in 2012 was 18.82m. And in 2013, she battled with an index finger injury and ended the year with a best throw of 17.84m.

Borel produced her big 19.10m heave in the sixth and final round of the competition.

“I’ve been throwing over 18 metres in practice, and all my throws (on Wednesday) were over 18. I was pleased to go over 19 metres…I was surprised! Nineteen is a milestone for me.

“I’m always thinking 20 metres--another milestone. But for now I’m focused on my technique, and hopefully the distance will come.”

Borel is the national record holder in the women’s shot put at 19.48m—a throw she produced in Virginia, USA back in 2004.

Borel told the Express, yesterday, she is very grateful to her coach, Ismael Lopez Mastrapa.

“Mastrapa and I know each other a lot better now as athlete and coach, plus we work so hard and smart this year. I will like to thank my awesome coach. I’ve been blessed with great coaches in my career, and Mastrapa is no different. He comes to practice every day, and he always has a positive attitude.

“I also have to thank SporTT (Sports Company),” she continued, “and the Elite Athletic Department there for all they do, and the Ministry of Sport for their support. And that’s not everyone. We have all worked hard. It really takes a team to get an athlete ready.”

Borel is a two-time Commonwealth Games medallist, earning bronze in 2006 and silver in 2010. She is hoping “to be in my best form ever” for the 2014 edition of the Games.

“We are very excited. The goal is to throw my very best there. That’s all I can do. I’m not going to say I’m going after the gold, and stress myself out. I want to do my best to represent T&T.”

The Commonwealth Games will be staged between July 23 and August 3 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Borel is currently taking part in a six-week training camp in Cuba, together with 2012 Olympic men’s javelin champion Keshorn Walcott, and junior javelin thrower Shakeil Waithe. 

All three athletes are coached by Lopez Mastrapa.

“I’m going to take a few days off because we have CAC Games all the way in November,” Borel explained. “I have to give my body and mind some time off, a few days off from training, all aspects of training, so I will make it to the end of the year.”

Waithe also competed at the Copa Cuba on Wednesday. The teenager threw 68.15m to grab boys’ under-20 javelin gold. He was also second best among the men with his big effort.

On Sunday, Waithe emerged victorious at the Carifta trials, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, with a personal best throw of 72.15m.

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