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Gordon signs with adidas

By Kwame Laurence kwame.laurence@trinidadexpress.com

Jehue Gordon signs on the dotted line in Stockholm, Sweden, today, sealing a lucrative deal with sports goods manufacturers adidas.

The newly crowned men's 400 metres hurdles world junior champion will compete for the first time as an adidas-sponsored athlete at tomorrow's DN Galan Samsung Diamond League meet, in Stockholm. Among the athletes he is expected to line up against in the one-lap hurdles are 2000/2008 Olympic champion Angelo Taylor, 2004 Olympic gold medallist Felix Sanchez, 2005 world champion Bershawn Jackson and 2009 World Championship silver medallist Javier Culson.

Gordon's manager, HSInternational boss Emanuel Hudson told the Express yesterday the adidas offer was not the only one on the table.

"We felt the adidas deal was a very good opportunity for him. We actually committed to the deal before World Juniors."

On July 23, Gordon triumphed in the men's 400m hurdles at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Moncton, Canada, the 18-year-old Trinidad and Tobago athlete getting home in 49.30 seconds.

"What he did has shown adidas has gotten an instant payoff from doing the deal.

"It's a very lucrative contract," Hudson continued. "There are additional bonuses. Jehue earned one for World Juniors, and an increase in contract. He's earning his keep from day one.

"We consider the contract to be one of the more lucrative contracts created this year, certainly the most lucrative contract created for his event."

Hudson said he had "just gotten confirmation" that Gordon will also compete at the August 13-14 Aviva London Grand Prix Samsung Diamond League meet, in England.

"...here (Stockholm), London, Brussels, all of the big Diamond League races for the rest of the season."

Gordon is the second fastest junior in history thanks to the 48.26 seconds clocking he produced in finishing fourth at the 2009 World Championships, in Berlin, Germany. The world junior record--48.02--was established way back in 1984 by Danny Harris. While the time is very impressive, Gordon is fully capable of removing Harris' name from the record books.

"We'd obviously be thrilled if that happens.

"But he would have had a successful season," Hudson continued, "even if he doesn't hit that number. He already has a successful season. If he got that number it would be something in addition, but it's not something we're pushing for. If it comes, God bless us. Jehue just needs to be competitive so that he realises that he belongs with the big boys now.

"He's going to have a target on his back. He has a very nice deal and everything's in his favour, but he's still the youngest guy out there. He has a lot to learn, but with time..."

Gordon is one of four T&T/HSInternational athletes who will be on show at the DN Galan meet. Richard Thompson and Emmanuel Callender are listed for action in the men's 100m dash, and Rhonda Watkins will compete in the women's long jump.

"I'm here at the Stockholm meet," said Hudson, "and HSI's representatives are all Trini. It's probably the most Trinis in one Diamond League meet all season."

In addition to Gordon, Thompson, Callender and Watkins, T&T will be represented by Marc Burns in the men's 100m, Aleesha Barber in the women's 100m hurdles and Cleopatra Borel-Brown in the women's shot put. The shot put events will be staged in downtown Stockholm today, and the rest of the meet at the Olympic Stadium tomorrow.

Thompson, who earned 100m silver behind Jamaican sensation Usain Bolt at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, is back on track after picking up a minor injury in Gateshead, England, on July 10. He warmed up for the DN Galan meet with victory at the MAI Games, in Malmo, Sweden, on Tuesday. Thompson clocked a wind-assisted 10.08 seconds for a huge cushion on second-placed Daniel Persson (10.73) of Sweden.

The DN Galan men's 100m will feature Bolt and American Tyson Gay, the two fastest men in history.

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