$800,000, house for Jehue
BY CLAYTON CLARKE and Miranda La Rose Friday, August 30 2013
click on pic to zoom in
WORLD champion 400-metre hurdler Jehue Gordon will be rewarded with the country’s second highest honour, the Chaconia Gold, for his gold medal run at the 14th IAAF World Championships of Athletics in Moscow, Russia, on August 15.
The 21-year-old will also receive $800,000, a house, free travel aboard Caribbean Airlines, an annual bursary from the University of the West Indies (UWI), where he is a student, and a track to be constructed at the St Augustine campus in his honour.
Sport Minister Anil Roberts called Gordon, who is in London, England, on his cellphone to deliver the good news to the star athlete, in the presence of reporters at Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain yesterday.
Gordon expressed his thanks to the minister and the Cabinet and added that he cannot wait to return home. He has been in England since his historic run in Moscow, where he is preparing for his next race in the Brussels Diamond League Leg on September 6 before returning home on September 8.
Roberts told reporters Cabinet approved the rewards earlier yesterday on his recommendation. “The house will be a middle-sized one to be approved by the Ministry of Housing, Land and Marine Affairs Dr Roodal Moonilal while the UWI bursary is to cover housing, books, meals and transportation during his tenure at the university,” the minister said.
Gordon is entering his final year and is pursuing a degree in Sports Management. Roberts also announced that Gordon’s coach, Dr Ian Hypolite, will also collect $200,000 and will be recommended for the Chaconia Silver medal at next year’s Independence Day award.
“The recommendation for Dr Hypolite came in too late for this year’s award ceremony,” Roberts said.
He also said the track to be constructed at UWI, St Augustine will be done by the Sports Company.
“I spoke with Professor (Clement) Sankar today (yesterday) and he advised based on a recommendation by the Ministry and with discussion with the Cabinet on the matter,” he added.
A special ceremony is to be arranged to present Gordon with his Chaconia Gold medal as his overseas engagement also means he will miss tomorrow’s Independence Day National Awards ceremony, being held for the first time, at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts in San Fernando.
Gordon’s mother, Marcella Woods yesterday thanked God first and foremost, and the Government for the rewards it has announced for him for having achieved TT’s second gold medal at a World Championship.
However, Woods has one regret. “I am sorry he would not be here for Independence,” she said to share the joy of others who would be receiving national honours on the occasion of the country’s 51st Independence anniversary. It was Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar who announced the Chaconia Gold national award for Gordon at the post-Cabinet briefing, Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair yesterday.
A surprised Woods said she did not know about the honours for her son it until Newsday told her and kept repeating. “ I am happy. I am happy for Jehue. I have to thank God and Government for everything.”
About developing and naming a track after Gordon at the UWI campus, Woods said, “That would be lovely.” She is looking forward to his return home.
Woods maintained that Gordon is a “messenger for Trinidad and Tobago. He has shown what we can do here.”
Gordon visited colleges in Mississippi and other places in the United States, she said, to decide what to do. “He came back and he said, ‘Mommy, I am not going anywhere you know. I will stay right here in Trinidad to study and to train.”
Declaring a firm faith in God, she said, “I feel so happy and thank God for everything that has happened in Trinidad and Tobago for my son.”