TEARS of joy flowed in Trinidad and Tobago and Brazil yesterday when Cleopatra Borel became the first athlete from Trinidad and Tobago to reach a final at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Borel qualified for the medal round of the women’s shot put, which took place last night.
The athlete shed tears during an interview with an ESPN reporter after competing in the qualifying round of the event and apologised to her mother for crying on camera.
Speaking to the Express yesterday, Borel’s mother, Marcelle Borel, said she too shed tears along with Cleopatra’s sisters, Natasha and Sandy, as they looked at the event at Natasha’s home in Charlieville, Chaguanas.
Borel (M) said: “Her two sisters and I were looking at it. We were praying for her and we are glad that she made it. It’s a great feeling. We are looking forward to the finals tonight. I always like my children to do their best. Whatever you do, always do it to the best of your ability and God will do the rest.”
She said: “This is history in the making. She always wanted to do this. Since she was a little girl, she wanted to go to the Olympics. She went now four times, and it will be great to see her medalled.
“If she medalled tonight (last night), that will be great, but she will continue with athletics maybe for a year or two, and then move on.”
Marcelle Borel said many people called with congratulatory messages. “Well-wishers have called, and they were really emotional about it, especially people in Mayaro, they would be emotional about it.”
Borel (C), who is from Mayaro, stays in Woodbrook near the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Her brother, Oji, told the Express: “I have seen how much work she has put in for the last four years, so I am just really happy for her and I am really proud of her, and she just always works really hard and I know this was something she wanted and we all have our fingers crossed and we are looking forward to the finals tonight (last night).”
Member of Parliament for Mayaro Rushton Paray said: “We are very excited for her. I am very excited to see that she made it into the final and I am hoping for a gold medal this time around. She is a Mayaro girl.
“First of all, she has always excelled in the field of sports. I think she is an ideal role model for our athletes, even our young students in Mayaro.”
And Sport Minister Darryl Smith said: “She really did us proud. Now it is just for us to assure her, pray for her and support her in the finals so we could get a medal from her, this being her final Olympics.”
Smith said he already sent a WhatsApp message to Borel, congratulating her.
“The entire Cabinet, the Prime Minister, everybody is excited. We are happy for her. I think it will be really deserving if she could bring it home for herself,” the minister said.
He noted Borel has done well in her sporting career and he looked forward to her encouraging others in the sporting arena.