Last update: 13-Dec-2013 1:58 am
Friday, December 13, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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President showers praise on Jehue
President Anthony Carmona yesterday heaped praise on local athlete Jehue Gordon, in the wake of his gold medal performance at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow on Thursday. Gordon won the medal in the men’s 400 metre hurdles event, joining Ato Boldon, who won a world title in the 200 metres event in 1997, as only the second Trinidadian and Tobagonian to lift a gold medal at the prestigious event.
In a news release yesterday, Carmona said he had joins with Trinbagonians, “here at home and abroad,” in celebrating Gordon’s outstanding victory. “Jehue Gordon’s achievement is certainly timely, given the dearth of uplifting news stories,” he said.
“I firmly believe that this achievement should have been on the front and back pages of every newspaper and none of the editors disappointed us. His achievement is indeed stellar because very few athletes in Trinidad and Tobago are hurdlers. Whereas, most of us need another person to push us to excellence, Jehue Gordon, in the main, was always competing against himself on local soil.” He said as much as the country needed to celebrate Gordon’s success, it was essential to celebrate also his road to success.
“His parental support was certainly pivotal. This victory was also made sweeter by the fact that this gold medal was 100 per cent locally produced. In Jehue Gordon, we have a homegrown, “home-coached” champion.” Carmona said Gordon, who is a member of the Memphis Pioneers Athletics Club, who train at St. Mary’s Grounds, was coached by Dr. Ian Hypolite, who is also director of the St. Ann’s Medical Centre, and 1964 Olympic medallist in the 4x400m relay Edwin Skinner.
“My two children, young members of the Memphis Pioneers, together with all the other club athletes, admire Jehue Gordon tremendously. “He is a great positive influence on all of them, both on and off the track. During training sessions, he displays a strong work ethic and a deep sense of humility, not lost upon all the athletes in the club.”
He said Belmont Boys’ Intermediate, where former coach, Albert King, introduced Gordon to hurdles as a form one student, as well as Queen’s Royal College, had every reason to celebrate the 21-year-old athlete’s success.
“Following yesterday’s race, I spoke with Professor Clement Sankat, principal of the University of the West Indies St. Augustine Campus, who described Jehue Gordon, who just completed his third year there, as “an excellent student” and recalled a conversation he had with him in which he expressed his intention to ‘get a Ph.D., just like you.’
“I commend this exceptional young student athlete for his belief and faith in God, to which he has accredited his success. It is my hope that his faith coupled with the wealth of support from his parents, coaches and members of the Memphis Pioneers Athletics Club, among others, will keep him focused and hungry to attain even higher heights.” Carmona said Gordon’s success, and more particularly his road to success, was a call to arms to young people that hard work, perseverance and sacrifice could open any door.
He said he had spoken often with Gordon’s coach, Dr. Hypolite and recalled one conversation with him during a period when Gordon was not doing as well as was hoped. “I shared with him the idea of sending him abroad to train but Dr. Hypolite said, “No, we are going to train right here and T&T is going to produce a homegrown world champion.” I was wrong and his statement was prophetic.” Carmona congratulated Hypolite, Skinner and the other Memphis Pioneers coaches on their vision and perseverance.
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