(Trinidad Express) “It’s amazing.”
This was the response of Trinidad and Tobago’s 400-metres hurdler Jehue Gordon to Thursday’s announcement by Minister of Sport Anil Roberts that he would be the recipient of the Chaconia Gold Medal as a reward for bringing glory to T&T with his gold medal run at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, earlier this month.
On August 15, the 21-year-old Gordon ran a world leading time of 47.69 seconds, leaning forward to capture the country’s second World Championships gold medal ahead of America’s Michael Tinsley who finished in 47.70 seconds to bag silver.
T&T’s only other World Championship gold medal came from sprinter Ato Boldon who won the men’s 200m in the 1997 World Championships in Athens, Greece. Gordon’s performance in Russia came after he showed great potential in finishing fourth at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany, as a 17-year-old junior athlete.
The reward package read out by Roberts at the Ministry of Sport headquarters in Port of Spain at a press conference on Thursday also included a monetary reward of TT$800,000 and a mid-sized house from the Housing Development Corporation to be approved by the Minister of Housing.
He will also receive a grant of an annual bursary from the University of the West Indies (UWI) on the recommendation of the Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills training to cover the cost of housing, books, meals and transportation as well as free airline tickets as determined by the board of Caribbean Airlines.
Roberts said the track to be constructed by the Sport Company in collaboration with UWI at its campus in St Augustine will be named after Jehue Gordon. Gordon’s coach, Dr Ian Hypolite, and swimmer George Bovell will also be on the rewards list.
“His local coach, Dr Ian Hypolite, has been recommended in next year’s award ceremony for the Chaconia Silver Medal and shall receive $200,000 this year for his contribution to coaching Jehue,” said Roberts.
“Also, the Cabinet of Trinidad and Tobago approved the sum of TT$250,000 to George Bovell III for bringing bronze to T&T in the World Swimming Championships in Barcelona, Spain,” the minister added.
At the end of the press conference, Roberts spoke to Gordon via telephone, listing the list of awards that the runner will be receiving.
In response, Gordon said: “I just want to say thanks to you … thanks to the whole government for these amazing gifts.”
The runner is also eager to return home but insisted that he still has work to do before returning to Trinidad and Tobago next month.
“It is truly a blessing and I really can’t wait to come home. It has been too long outside here right now but I still have a job to get finished,” he added. Gordon will be in action next Friday in the Brussels Diamond League meet in Belgium before returning to T&T two days later.