There are words to a powerful British Poem that apply to one T&T athlete in particular. The Poem is called ‘If’ and the athlete is Jehue Gordon who runs in the London Olympics 400 metres hurdles final today at 3.45 pm (T&T time).
“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,”
These are some of the words from the opening of that great poem by Rudyard Kipling. After his wonderful semi final performance on Saturday, Gordon looked so happy and confident. This is his first Olympics and given his wonderful World Championships debut some three years ago, when he was fourth, there were mixed expectations. In the media zone, Gordon surprised everyone when he said to me: ”You remember what I told you in the Hasely Crawford Stadium at the national trials.” With that he leaned forward and knocked my hand.
Let me respectfully say he was not concerned about missing the 400 metres hurdles final in the National Championships. He said then: “There is a plan to run some races before the Olympics, improve my time and qualify for the finals. I have an objective and everything is planned. I am not worried. There is a plan and I am sticking to that.” Gordon is a religious man and believes in the power of prayer and as Ato Boldon told us, he is so determined that he has focussed on a particular time and placed this time all over his room in the Olympic Village, in his shoes, and everywhere from cupboard to bathroom. There is a sense that Gordon sees a great opportunity to deliver.
It is not often we watch home grown and trained talent deliver. But Gordon, who attends the University of the West Indies, and is coached locally by Olympic bronze medallist Edwin Skinner and Dr Ian Hypolite, is a man with a purpose. Today, this young man will attempt to become THE MAN—with a spectacular performance. If this race was held in the mind, Gordon would be in serious contention already. But it will all be about the day. So let us watch and believe that if indeed, it comes through as planned, something special will be on the cards. “This race is for the people of T&T and for how positive everyone has been in encouraging me and giving me the strength to succeed. It is a pleasure to receive this sort of encouragement,” added Gordon.