Last update: 13-Dec-2013 3:20 am
Friday, December 13, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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T&T’s latest track star Jehue Gordon last night sidestepped discussion on the Government’s decision to reward him for his gold medal success in the 400-metre hurdle at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Moscow, opting instead to focus on his upcoming race in the Grand Prix in Belgium next Friday.
During a press conference at his Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain, office yesterday, Sports Minister Anil Roberts announced that Cabinet had agreed to reward the 21-year old hurdler with a bagful of goodies, which include:
• the Chaconia Medal (Gold)
• a mid-sized HDC house
• an annual bursary at the University of the West Indies that will cover accommodation, meals and transport
• free airline tickets on Caribbean Airlines
• after consultation with Professor Clement Sankat, name the pending track facility at UWI the Jehue Gordon Track Facility.
Gordon’s coach Dr Ian Hypolite will also be recognised with the Chaconia Silver medal, as well as $200,000. Roberts also announced that swimmer George Bovell, who won a bronze medal at the FINA World Championships, will be rewarded with $250,000. In response to the news last night, however, Gordon said while he was delighted, he preferred to focus on his Belgium assignment next Friday, when he will be facing some of the world’s best hurdlers for the second time in less than a month.
“I will talk more about that when I come home...I have to concentrate on the task ahead,” he said. Gordon is now in London but will leave for Germany on Monday, where he will meet with officials at Adidas before travelling to Belgium on Tuesday. Sources say that a contract with Adidas is imminent. Gordon is expected back in Trinidad on September 9.
Roberts said Gordon and Hypolite will both receive their awards at a function when they return home from their current stint. He said he was pleased that Cabinet had accepted his recommendations, describing Gordon as a student athlete who has proven that sport and academics could mix and produce champions. “What we have given Jehue is just a token of our appreciation of what he has done for the people of this country,” Roberts said.
“It could never fully compensate for what he has achieved. The people of T&T have every reason to be proud of this young man—a role model, who has retained all his humility in spite of the success.” “I am particularly proud of the fact that he was home grown, and produced right here in T&T, because you all know I am also a local coach.” Roberts described the gold medal success as only the start of Gordon’s career.
“This is just the beginning. This is a young man, confident, disciplined, and one who understands what he needs to do to be successful. “More than that, he retains all the qualities to suggest that he can only get better. We are excited about his future because we feel he can only get better.” He said he was also pleased that Cabinet had agreed to recognise Hypolite. “He had faith in the young man, but more importantly, the young man had enough faith in him, and they proved to be a winning team. It can’t get better than that.”
Gordon became only the second T&T athlete to win a gold medal at the World Championships, following in the footsteps of sprinter Ato Boldon, who won the 200 metres in 1993.
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