Trinidad Guardian: Brazil has always been famous for its multitude of women. Now Rio 2016 is scoring points for its high prevalence of women athletes due to an evolution of most sports, no longer restricted to specific genders.
More women will compete in the Olympics in 2016 than in any other year in history, data from the International Olympic Committee shows.
In Rio, 45 per cent of all competitors will be women. That’s more than double the figure from 1976, just 40 years ago. There will be some 4,700 women competitors of 10,444 total athletes—a 6.8 per cent increase since 2000.
While there were only two such Olympic sports in 1900, the 2016 Olympics will feature a record-setting 28 women’s sports.
In T&T, everyone is waiting anxiously to see how its record 11 women will perform.
The anticipated performance of Michelle Lee Ahye in the 100 metres and her expected run as part of Team TTO relay team in the 4x100 metres, are being eagerly awaited.
She is part of a relay team that won bronze in world championships last year and is hoping to bring home T&T's first gold medal for women in the women's 4x100.
Lee Ahye was part of the squad that finished fourth in the sprint relay at the 2011 World Championships, and in which the team ran a national record time of 42.50 seconds.
Most may recall that although she was born in Port of Spain, she lives in Carenage with her mother, Raquel, who has been crucial in her development as a woman and athlete.
Lee Ahye won the national 100m titles in 2013 and 2014. In 2013, she traveled to Moscow, Russia for the IAAF World Outdoor Championships. In 2014, she went to Sopot, Poland for the 60 metres dash at the World Indoor Championships where she set a national record by running 7.10 seconds when placing sixth. Then in 2014, Lee Ahye ran a personal best 10.85 over 100 metres to earn a ranking of third in the world by Track and Field News.
Lee Ahye won the 100 metres at the Lausanne Diamond League meet in July 2014, clocking 10.98. Not to be satisfied, she journeyed to the Glasgow Diamond League meet in Scotland and defeated defending Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica. She will be one of the athletes upon whom T&T will be placing high expectations.
Never to be underestimated is Cleopatra Borel.
Borel was born on the other side of Trinidad, in Mayaro. She started out as a runner but field events was her passion.
As a teen, she moved to the USA to attend university where she trained in shot put which became her specialty. She also participated in hammer throw.
Borel has competed in three Olympics and in the 2012 London Games, she threw 18.36 metres. She just failed to get to the finals but her strength knows no limit and she could be T&T’s first woman medallist at these Games.
And there is Khalifa St Fort, who is being coached by four-time Olympic medalist Ato Boldon and who is also scheduled to compete in 4x100 metres relay.
The faithful and reliable Kelly Ann Baptiste and Semoy Hackett from Tobago, despite various difficulties, as well as Kai Selvon are all expected to do their part to make Team TTO proud.
Source: www.guardian.co.tt (Andre Baptiste)
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