Wednesday, February 21, 2018


Medals for Borel, Gordon


SILVER SHOT: Trinidad and Tobago’s Cleopatra Borel competes in the final of the women’s shot put athletics event at Hampden Park during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, yesterday. –Photo: AFP

Mark Fraser

Cleopatra Borel and Lalonde Gordon added to Trinidad and Tobago’s Commonwealth Games medal account, at Hampden Park, here in Glasgow, Scotland, yesterday.

Borel produced an 18.57 metres throw to snare silver in the women’s shot put. And earlier in the session, Gordon captured men’s 400 metres bronze--the same colour earned by Ayanna Alexander in Tuesday’s women’s triple jump.

“It feels amazing to bring home this medal,” Borel told the Express, “simply because we’ve had some disappointments with the team.”

Borel knows about Commonwealth disappointment. At the 2002 Manchester Games, she was in tears after finishing fourth. But the T&T thrower ensured there would be no more near misses, earning bronze at the 2006 Melbourne Games, and improving to silver at the Delhi Games four years ago. Yesterday, she claimed medal number three.

New Zealand’s Valerie Adams secured her third gold medal, and now has four in total, the reigning world and Olympic champion dominating her rivals with a big 19.88m effort. Canadian Julie Labonte threw 17.58m to take bronze.

After the competition, Borel paid tribute to her coach, Ismael Lopez Mastrapa.

“I’m really happy that Mastrapa has coached me in a way that my average permits me to come out on the tough days and still bring home medals for Trinidad and Tobago.”

Yesterday was one of those days. Borel had problems with her technique, and was unable to approach the 19-metre mark. She made a huge effort in the sixth and final round to land a big one, but tried too hard and fell out of the circle.

“It was really quite cold, and I think that between the cold and the pressure…I fell. I don’t fall. I’ve been having so many good, consistent meets over 18.90, and I wanted my level to remain high. I wanted to throw further, but that’s what it was today, so I can’t complain.”

Borel is the first woman and one of only five T&T athletes with at least three Commonwealth Games medals, joining an esteemed group, headed by Edwin Roberts with five. Hasely Crawford, Kent Bernard and Roger Daniel are the other three-medal members of that elite club.

Gordon produced his fastest time this season, 44.78 seconds, to take one-lap bronze. Grenada’s Kirani James struck gold in a Games record time of 44.24, while silver was captured by South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk in 44.68.

Gordon finished strong, making a valiant attempt to snatch silver. The Olympic bronze medallist closed the gap on van Niekirk on the home straight, but could not catch him. The big effort, however, was rewarded with bronze.

“Any medal I get it’s the same feeling,” Gordon told the Express. “The main purpose is to go out there and medal. That’s what I always want to do.

“I was happy to come out there,” he continued, “give my all, and have a season’s best. I thank God. Another healthy race, so it’s just to celebrate and rest up.”

Gordon’s T&T teammate, Jarrin Solomon finished sixth in 45.82 seconds.

“It’s just the legs didn’t have it today,” said Solomon. “Gave it my best shot and it wasn’t to be.”

The third T&T quartermiler in the final, Renny Quow felt tightness in his legs and did not finish the race.

“I came out there and tried to get a medal, but stuff like this happens. I didn’t want to risk getting hurt.”

Quow is hopeful, though, he’ll be ready to play a role in the 4x400m relay. The heats take place tomorrow (Friday), and the final on Saturday.

Gordon believes the T&T 4x4 men can make a big impression here in Glasgow.

“We have a strong relay team. We’re trying to get a new national record. Hopefully, 2:56/2:57.”

If they succeed in their bid to better the two minutes, 58.34 seconds T&T standard, there’s a strong likelihood Gordon will make a second trip to the Hampden Park podium.