By Andre Bagoo Friday, August 16 2013
SPORT Minister Anil Roberts yesterday had one word to describe it: Wow!
Minutes after Trinidad and Tobago’s Jehue Gordon, 21, sprinted to victory in the 400 metres hurdles final at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Moscow, Russia, Roberts expressed elation.
“First of all wow!” Roberts told Newsday. “What an absolutely perfect race: brilliant execution, mental toughness, it was a thing of beauty, it was artistry in motion. What an iron-man race! What an incredible, mentally tough finish!”
Roberts continued, “That race epitomises all that is good in Trinidad and Tobago, all within Jehue Gordon. I don’t think anyone has ever run a 400 metre hurdles race like that. The sort of pain he endured in that last 30 metres; to lean on the tape and win by one one-hundredth of a second is simply incredible.
“Jehue Gordon showed his promise four years ago. He has delivered. And in a big way: this is 47.69 victory, a new national record and the current fastest. He is, in fact, the man. Congratulations to him and to his family, his coach Dr Ian Hypolite.”
Roberts noted the victory was all the more sweeter because of the times the nation is facing as well as the drug doping controversy which had overshadowed the progress of the TT team at the event.
“Especially in this time in which we find ourselves as a nation, he has brought a breadth of fresh air. The country should enjoy this and pay tribute to this young man,” the Sport Minister said.
“It makes the victory that much sweeter. I am sure Jehue would have been surrounded by negativity and all the adverse publicity coming out of the drug incidents, and this has demonstrated his ability to rise above that. He showed, rather masterfully, his ability to focus, and to put his nose to the grindstone, and perform,” he added. Roberts revealed that a meeting of his ministry’s rewards committee — which administers the rewards given to athletes when they perform outstandingly — was convened yesterday.
“There will be rewards,” he said. “The rewards are done on a systematic basis. The Permanent Secretary and the rewards committee of the Ministry of Sport is already getting down to finalising those rewards. They will be quite satisfactory.”
Roberts said the rewards committee of the Ministry of Sport comprises the permanent secretary Ashwin Creed, the director of physical education Dave Bobb, advisor to the minister Mr Kryl Kellar, a representative from the Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago as well as a member of the sporting fraternity.