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NAAA blunder leaves Jehue out 400

Minister says it’s April Fools joke
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Jehue Gordon cruising to victory at the National Championships. Photo: ANTHONY HARRIS

T&T’s 400 metres hurdler Jehue Gordon has not been entered to take part in the event at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. A release from the NAAA yesterday said Gordon’s omission was an oversight for the Games which are scheduled to begin on Saturday. Secretary of the NAAA Allan Baboolal who is with the team in South Korea, described Gordon’s situation as an oversight and stated that he will take responsibility for the mistake. Up to late yesterday, NAAA president Ephraim Serrette, Olympic gold medalist Hasely Crawford, together with NACAC area representative Neville Mc Cook were meeting with the director of the competition bureau for the IAAF World Championships, Jun Kim, to discuss the possibility of  Gordon’s entry.

The NAAA release said they were  hopeful for a positive outcome. Contacted Sports Minister Anil Roberts said he could not believe what he was hearing. When the NAAA release was read to him, the Minister’s response was: “It has to be April 1st. This is an April Fools joke. That cannot be truth I cannot believe what you just read. It cannot be true.” Minister Roberts said there was a clear process for entries at international events and in particular at a World Championship: “The team coach and manager will fill out the entry form, double check it and then pass it on to the general council and then the secretary will forward it to the relevant body. Jehue was fourth at the last Championships at 17 years and was one of our main hopes for a gold medal in Daegu. I cannot understand or contemplate this catastrophe. How this happened is unbelieveable. I cannot fathom it.”

The Minister said he would be interested in the outcome and was looking forward to hearing from the NAAA as to how this materialised. Gordon was expected to be the youngest finalist and competitor in the event this year. Two years ago, he was fourth in the finals in Berlin with a time of 48.26 seconds. He was 17 years and 276 days. At the National Championships two weeks ago, Gordon cruised to victory and later revealed that he was anxiously looking forward to his experience in South Korea, where he was expecting to improve on his fourth placing at the last Games.


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