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Borel aiming to set medal pace at IAAF championships
Cleopatra Borel can pick up T&T’s first medal at the IAAF World Indoor Championships, which starts today in Birmingham, in the United Kingdom when the veteran field specialist compete in the women’s shot put event. The final is set for the second day of the four-day meet, tomorrow from 4.10 pm (TT time).
Borel and 11 other local athletes including sprinters Emmanuel Callender, Keston Bledman, Kelly-Ann Baptiste and Michelle-Lee Ahye, hurdler Mikel Thomas and quarter-milers Deon Lendore, Lalonde Gordon, Machel Cedenio, Jereem Richards, Renny Quow and Asa Guevara, will tackle some of the best athletes the world has on offer at present.
Callender, who has been doing much of his training in Jamaica, is making his debut at the World Indoors is ready for the challenge.
“I am excited about competing at my first World Indoor Championships and to give nothing but my best and improve through the rounds,” said Callender while en route to Birmingham yesterday.
“It’s been 30 hours flying from Trinidad to New York, then to Shannon because of heavy snow fall, then to Ireland and delayed flights.”
Callender along with Bledmen will race in the men’s 60 metres heats on Saturday morning from 6.15 am, first aiming at reaching the semifinals carded for 3.11 pm then onto the final at 5.09 pm.
“I feel blessed to be here and I am just giving Jesus thanks, for seeing me through the journey thus far,” said the reigning national sprint champion.
Borel will be seeking to peak at the meet after dominating in Chile much of last month. The 2016 Olympic finalist completed a hat-trick of victories in the shot put at the Launch Circuit Meeting held at various venues.
The five-time “Sportswoman of the Year” produced 18.20m at the first meet, then threw 17.93m and her most recent throw measured 18.60m to move her to the top on this year’s world outdoor performance list.
Borel will match skills against some of the leading shot putters this season including Chinese pair Gong Lijiao and China’s Gao Yang, 2016 Olympic bronze and World Championships silver medallist Anita
Marton of Hungary, Jamaican Danniel Thomas-Dodd, Poland’s Paulina Guba United States champion Dani Hill and Belarusian duo Yuliya Leantsiuk and Aliona Dubitskaya.
Earlier in tomorrow’s (Friday) morning session, local sprinters Michelle-Lee Ahye and Kelly-Ann Baptiste will face the starter in the heats of the women’s 60m dash from 6.35 am. The semifinals are carded for 2.50 pm with the final set to unfold at 5.38 pm to end the day’s activities.
At 7.20 am it will be the quarter-milers, Gordon, Lendore and Guevara, racing in the heats of the one-lap event, hoping to advance into the semifinals at 5.06 pm on Friday evening. The final is set for the following day at 4.20 pm.
Both Gordon and Lendore were part of the 4x400m relay team that won bronze in the 2016 edition of the World Indoors in Portland, Oregon, USA. They along with Guevara, Cedenio, Richards and Quow make up the national relay squad that will face competition on Saturday in the heats which starts at 8.21 am. The final will run off on Sunday at 1.25 pm in the final event at the Championships.
Thomas will also compete on Saturday in the heats of the men’s 60m hurdles at 2.30 pm.
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