ON TO THE FINAL: Jehue Gordon, left, cruises past the finish line in his IAAF World Championship men’s 400 metres hurdles semifinal heat, at the Luzhniki Stadium, in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday. The Trinidad and Tobago athlete won in 48.10 seconds, beating Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson, right, and Senegal’s Mamadou Kasse Hanne, centre, into second and third, respectively. All three men will face the starter in today’s final. —Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Jehue bids for precious metal
Kwame Laurence in Moscow
Jehue Gordon looks to be in the best form of his life, the Trinidad and Tobago athlete producing a couple of sizzling runs within the last month.
On July 19, Gordon won on the Diamond League circuit for the very first time, topping the Monaco men’s 400 metres hurdles field in 48 seconds flat—the second fastest time in his career. And on Tuesday, he clocked his third fastest, 48.10, to top his semifinal heat at the IAAF World Championships, here in Moscow, Russia.
But when Gordon faces the starter at one o’clock this afternoon (T&T time) in the World Championship final, time will not be his focus.
“You could win in 49 seconds, 50 seconds, it doesn’t matter,” Gordon told the Express. “That medal is what’s going to matter at the end of the day.
“I’m happy with where I’m at in training. This is the best my body has ever taken any sort of training load before. I’m going to give it my best.”
T&T team manager, Dexter Voisin told the Express he’s expecting success for Gordon.
“He’s very calm and relaxed. Once he executes his race plan, I feel we will definitely see a medal.”
Gordon has been drawn in lane six for today’s final, between two other Caribbean hurdlers, Cuban Omar Cisneros, in five, and Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson, in seven. A fourth Caribbean athlete, two-time Olympic champion Felix Sanchez, of Dominican Republic, will be in lane four.
T&T-born American Kerron Clement runs in lane one, Senegal’s Mamadou Kasse Hanne in two, and American champion Michael Tinsley in three, while Serbia’s Emir Bekric will be out in lane eight.
This afternoon, Gordon will be competing in his second World Championship final. In 2009, in Berlin, Germany, jaws dropped when Gordon, only 17 at the time, finished fourth in the championship race in 48.26 seconds, just three-hundredths of a second shy of bronze.
There was an even bigger shocker from a T&T teen at the London Olympics, last year, Keshorn Walcott striking gold at 19 in the men’s javelin.
Today, Walcott will make his World Championship debut. He competes in Group “A” in the qualifying competition. The first of the Group “A” competitors, Russia’s Valeriy Iordan, will throw at 1.30 a.m. (T&T time).
Kai Selvon will be on show at 3.16 a.m., in the fourth of seven women’s 200m first round heats. The T&T sprinter will run in lane eight.
And at 11.15 a.m., T&T will compete in the second men’s 4x400m qualifying heat. Renny Quow, Jarrin Solomon, Lalonde Gordon and Deon Lendore, running in that order, will represent the Red, White and Black.
United States, Belgium, Poland, Brazil, Kenya, Ukraine and Sri Lanka will also run in heat two. The top two finishers will advance automatically to tomorrow’s final.
T&T bagged bronze at the London Olympics in two minutes, 59.40 seconds—a new national record. Solomon told the Express that he and his teammates are capable of changing the colour of the medal here in Moscow.
“We have the personnel to do that.
“Renny’s fresh,” Solomon continued, “and he wasn’t there last year, so if we all do our best we should have no problem lowering that record.”
“Our team got stronger from last year. I’m hoping we better that bronze, and bring something with a little more quality for T&T.”