World Athletics Championship 400-metre hurdles victor Jehue Gordon is expressing confidence that he can repeat his winning performance witnessed two years ago in Moscow Russia.
Back in 2013 Gordon won gold in the men's 400 m hurdles in 47.69 to upset race favourite Michael Tinsley of the United States who ran 47.70. The 2015 edition of the meet hosted by the IAAF was scheduled to take place from August 22-30 in Beijing, China, at which Gordon intended to defend his title.
“You saw how I ran, so I guess you will see it again. They (people of T&T) know that I always give it my best. So it’s always about T&T at the end of the day: win, lose or draw. My main aim is to get back as fit and as healthy as possible and definitely give it my best shot at the World Championships,” he said.
Gordon–who was forced to pull out of the Pan American Games held in Toronto, Canada, a mere two weeks ago, when his training camp discovered an injury that could have worsened had he competed at the tournament–said training was good and the team was working and looking ahead to Beijing.
“Right now we are working on it. We are working together as a team. Nothing is ever guaranteed. Sport is very iffy. Anything could happen on the day. Nobody’s name is written on the medals as yet. Once I go out and give it my best performance!
Even as he kept his eyes on the prize, his pursuit of higher education had not waned. Come September, Gordon would graduate from the University of the West Indies with first class honours in sports management. Things have been a lot different since that victory, he said, in terms of the life shaping opportunities that came before him. But he kept his feet firmly on the ground, conscious there was a time and place for everything.
Gordon turned his attention to the work of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) and lauded its president Brian Lewis who through established an Athlete Welfare Fund and was to rallying corporate T&T and the public at large to pledge financial support for the 10 or more goal medal by 2024.
“We see what sport does for a nation, especially with people like Njisane Phillip, George Bovell, Keshorn Walcott and Cleopatra Borel. We have a good crop of athletes coming up especially the young Machel Cedenio. It’s not to say that the future is dull for T&T, it’s just that we need to support our athletes more and show them the respect that they deserve, because at the end of the day, we make a lot of sacrifices to make sure that’s T&T is on the map. And, if we don’t do that, who is going to? he asked.
Gordon lamented the fact that basic amenities for elite athlete training were still not available in T&T, no because a lack of resources, but the poor mind sets. Many, he said, still haven’t grasped the concept of professionalism when meeting the needs of the nation’s athletes.
“When we go outside, we see what it takes and what it means to be a professional. In T&T, we are accustomed to this lack-lustre culture where it’s always a short term goal or short term thinking. We really don’t think outside the box as T&T nationals when it comes to stuff like that. We only see the end result. If they can come and live in the athletes shoes for a certain point in time, they would see the difficulties that we are faced with,” he said.