World Championships 400-metre hurdles champion Jehue Gordon was undoubtedly the headline act at the 2013 Annual Awards function of the National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) of Trinidad and Tobago at Capital Plaza in Port of Spain on Saturday.
On an evening which could be best described as a ‘Night with the Stars’, Gordon picked up the “Male Athlete of the Year” and the “Men Open Track” awards. However, the 22-year-old Memphis Pioneers athlete’s night on centre stage was not quite over as he was also the recipient of an “Outstanding Performance” award for his world-leading and national record 47.69 seconds clocking en route to World Championships honours in Russia last August.
Speaking with the Express after the function Gordon said: “I’m really delighted at this point in time. This is my family, this is my home.”
He said the track and field fraternity is his backbone and as a result he must show them the love and respect because they help paved the way for him to achieve everything he has achieved thus far.
“To be honest, I’ve never envisioned myself reaching this far so early. It’s something we always dream about but for me to come out here and win all these achievements at such a young age just goes to show that it have a lot more in store for Jehue Gordon in the future”.
Rebirth’s shot putter Cleopatra Borel also shared some of the limelight in collecting the “Female Athlete of the Year” and “Women Open Field” awards.
The defending Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games champion missed out on a World Championships final berth by a mere 0.04 metres when she produced a season’s best 17.84m to be just outside the top 12.
She did have some measure of success, however, when she produced a 17.56m effort to capture gold at the 2013 Central American and Caribbean Championships in Mexico last July.
Carifta double gold medallist Mark London picked up the award for the “Male Junior Athlete of the Year”.
London not only defended his Boys Under-20 800m title but added the U-20 1,500m crown to his collection to see him also claim the NAAA “Boys U-20 Track” award.
And Neon Trackers’ Domonique Williams emulated London in capturing the “Female Junior Athlete of the Year” and “Girls U-20 Track” awards.
Williams missed out on precious metal at last year’s Carifta Games with fourth and fifth place finishes in the Girls U-20 800m and 400m, respectively. She would however, notch a silver medal performance behind compatriot Shawna Fermin over 400m at the 2013 Kuortane Games in Finland before being selected as a member of Trinidad and Tobago’s women 4 x 400 metres relay unit that made it to the semi-finals at the World Championships.
In delivering the feature address Pastor Clive Dottin told the athletes in attendance that their focus should not be on going for gold, but going for a golden character.
“Have a sense of integrity. Have a strong drive to be honest,” he urged, adding that they should not look at those who have gone the way of shortcuts but instead do it the fair way.
He added that form is temporary but class is permanent so they should never engage in the negative thinking syndrome.
“Don’t listen to those who say you can’t do it and who suffer from asthmatic neveritis. Say you could do it, and you go forward and prove to them that you could do it because mountains are made to be conquered and records are made to be broken.
“You may think that you cannot achieve Olympic glory. However, do your best, have commitment to this country and remember, God is counting on you.” Dottin said.
2013 honour roll (selected)
Male Athlete of the Year – Jehue Gordon
Female Athlete of the Year – Cleopatra Borel
Male Junior Athlete of the Year – Mark London
Female Junior Athlete of the Year – Dominique Williams
Jehue Gordon (Memphis) – 47.69/400m hurdles
Deon Lendore (Abilene) – 45.15/400m (indoor)
Michelle-Lee Ahye (Rebirth) – 11.06/100m
Mikel Thomas (Rebirth) – 13.19/110m hurdles
Hezekiel Romeo (Rebirth) – 17.32m/shot put
Adell Colthrust (Southern Athletics) – 11.28/100m
Emmanuel Mayers (Rebirth) – Double gold 400m hurdles; 4x400m CAC
Jarrin Solomon (Memphis) – Double gold 400m; 4x400m CAC
Keshorn Walcott (Rebirth) – 84.38m/javelin
Machel Cedenio (Simplex) – 400m Gold/Carifta
Akeem Stewart (Falcons) – 19.84m/shot put
Shawna Fermin (Memphis), Sparkle Mc Knight (Neon Trackers), Ramona Modeste (Neon Trackers) and Alena Brooks – women’s 4x400m WC relay team.