PM, Rowley join in paying tribute to Jehue Gordon
Friday, August 16 2013
PRIME Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday issued congratulations to Trinidad and Tobago’s 400 metre hurdles champion, Jehue Gordon, saying his victory at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Moscow, Russia, was a demonstration that our athletes can compete on the world stage.
“Once again, our athletes continue to hold their own against the best in the world. Jehue’s gold medal run was not unexpected as he showed great potential in winning the semi-final event on Tuesday,” Persad-Bissessar said in a statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister yesterday.
“Today’s victory showed that despite the small size of our country, our athletes can compete with the best on the world stage.”
The Prime Minister continued, “It was exactly a year ago, that Keshorn Walcott won our second Gold medal at the Olympics. Today, Jehue won our second Gold medal at the World Championships. He is just 21 years old and has a bright future ahead of him.
On behalf of the Government and the people of Trinidad and Tobago, I extend sincere congratulations to Jehue Gordon for his fine representation of Trinidad and Tobago in athletics.
We now wait to see what our 4x400m relay team would do in the final.”
Gordon won the race in a personal best of 47.69 seconds, a new national record. Ato Boldon was the only other Trinidad and Tobago athlete to win Gold at the World Championships, achieving this feat in 1997 in the 200m final in Athens, Greece.
The PM added: “We are discussing ways in which we could reward him for his excellent performance in bringing gold to Trinidad and Tobago once again. We are thinking of several proposals, but we’ll give you more details on the ways in which we could reward this brilliant son of our soil who has made us very proud in a time when we are saddened by other events in Trinidad and Tobago.”
When questioned about reports about Olympic gold winning javelin thrower Keshorn Walcott not yet having received all the rewards promised him by the State, Persad-Bissessar said “I have no knowledge of that, but I will certainly raise it with our Minister of Sport,” she added.
Congress of the People political leader Prakash Ramadhar described the victory as “the perfect 2013 Independence gift.”
“Last year at the London Olympics, Keshorn Walcott, then 19 years old, surprised our nation and the rest of the world, when he won gold in the men’s javelin competition,” Ramadhar said in a press release. “Like Walcott, Jehue Gordon has presented us with the perfect 2013 Independence gift.”
Ramadhar congratulated the Trinidad and Tobago team’s manager Dexter Voisin and the rest of the support staff, and wished Walcott, who unfortunately did not qualify for his finals yesterday at the same event, better luck in the future. Ramadhar also wished Renny Quow, Jarrin Solomon, Lalonde Gordon and Deon Lendore all the best in the 4 x 400m relay final, scheduled for today.
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley described Gordon’s victory as “a dream realised”.
“This is a fantastic achievement for a young man who has put in the work, and is now experiencing the reward of a dream realised by an athlete and a grateful nation,” Rowley said to Newsday. “Congratulations to Jehue, his family, his coach, support crew and team-mates.”
In a further press release, the People’s National Movement said the victory, “is a direct result of hard work, dedication and most of all discipline — some of the values which the patriotic citizens of Trinidad and Tobago embrace in their daily lives.”
“This achievement comes at a time when the nation is in need of wholesome inspiration, and we thank this young man for reminding us all that great things are possible for those who invest positive energies in their pursuits,” the party said.
Diego Martin North/East MP Colm Imbert, who described Gordon as his “constituent”, expressed elation over the victory. Imbert described the sportsman as, “a role model for our youth, a gifted athlete, a university student, humble, and committed to excellence.”