Trinidad and Tobago’s national champion and shot put record holder Cleopatra Borel gets another chance to improve her overall season’s best when she competes in the International Administration of Athletics Federation (IAAF) Diamond League meet at Brussels on Thursday (September 8).
Borel, who is the reigning Pan-American champion, placed seventh in the Rio Olympics final with a throw of 18.37m.
It was the first time that she had qualified for the final of her pet event and became the first Trinidadian athlete to advance to a female field event final.
Borel will not have an easy time because she will have to contend with the giants of women strong-arm event in the persons of all three Rio Olympics medallists- Michelle Carter (USA with 20.63m for GOLD, Personal & Season Best), Valerie Adams (New Zealand, 20.42m, Season Best, SILVER) and Anita Marton (Hungary, 19.87m, Personal & Season Best BRONZE); who will also be in action today.
Based on her season’s best of 18.78m, achieved for her third place in Birmingham on June 3, 2016; Borel will have to find something much more special to challenge her more established competitors who will also be seeking to finish the season on a high.
Borel’s lifetime best of 19.42m was achieved at the Paris Diamond League on July 8, 2011 and is the distance she has to aim for to deny at least bronze medallist Marton; who recorded her lifetime best in Rio, Brazil.
Carter, the newly-crowned Olympics champion; is at the height of her powers. She will be difficult to be stopped from finishing in the top two, having already denied arch-rival and human powerhouse Adams a unique sporting and Olympics historical milestone- of getting her third consecutive gold medal.
On the other hand, Adams will be out to avenge her Olympics defeat and a heightened level of competitive buzz will surround the throwing area and in the stands.
Adams was injured and had undergone surgery before she started to compete again. She was not fully fit to give of her best in Rio and although denied triple gold, she will be aggressive and would seek to regain some measure of respect by defeating Carter and others in Brussels.
Adams lifetime best is 21.24m and she is poised to clinch her fifth Diamond Trophy and the US$40,000 bonus as the overall DL Shot Put group leader.
Apart from Carter, Adams and Marton who will definitely seek to dominate again as they did in Rio, Belarussian Aliona Dubitskaya and American Brittany Smith are the others who should provide stiff competition for Borel who must reproduce her season’s best to finish among the top three in an event that calls for explosive power and excellent throwing technique from within the circled dimensions that demarcates the controlled throwing area.
Dubitskaya has a season best of 18.78m and a personal best of 19.03m while Smith’s season best is 18.94 and a personal best of 18.96.
This event is being on today (Thursday, September 8) while the main events are carded for tomorrow, (Friday, September 9).