National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) “Male Athlete of the Year”, Jehue Gordon, said he felt honoured to be one to have raised the bar for the country’s young athletes. But he shied away from making predictions about this year’s Commonwealth Games.
Gordon told the Express during Saturday’s NAAA Annual Awards function at Capital Plaza in Port of Spain that once the bar could be raised anytime he stepped out on the track, then he’s willing to do it.
The Memphis Pioneers hurdler grabbed gold at last August’s World Championships in Russia when he set a world leading time and new national record of 47.69 seconds in the 400 metre hurdles final.
“It’s really to motivate the younger ones to continue to produce at the world level because everything doesn’t end at the Carifta level or the Pan Am level,” Gordon said, adding that you don’t just want to be regional, you want to be known internationally.
“I just want to set the bar for everyone else to come and raise it higher than I did.”
Gordon, who has six more courses to complete his Bachelor’s degree at the University of the West Indies (UWI), said he’s looking forward to graduating from school and becoming a full-time athlete.
“I’m trying to see how best I can accommodate it and once everything goes to plan, hopefully next year I’ll be a full time professional athlete.
“I’m really limiting myself in terms of my capabilities as I’m not able to do some stuff because of the amount of time I have to sacrifice for school, so right now is really about trying to balance both and find some kind of middle ground.
The 22-year-old world beater is looking ahead at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, from July 23 – August 3, but is doing so with caution.
“This would be my first time at the Commonwealth Games so I really don’t know what to expect. I know people have their own expectations of me but I have my own expectations of myself, so I am taking it one step at a time.
“The World Championships is over and what happened is already in the past, we’ve already started from the bottom trying to head back up to the top again,” Gordon said.
“Female Athlete of the Year” Cleopatra Borel also feels “really inspired” by the younger athletes.
“I’ve been working really hard towards 2014, so coming here it’s just that extra push and motivational boost for me to keep going, and I’m sure for the other athletes as well,” she said, adding that she’s back to really enjoying her event and enjoying training so she’s looking forward to great things in 2014.
Borel said she feels a sense of achievement as a local shot putter but hopes that her exploits along with those of Candice Scott and Keshorn Walcott, will inspire more young athletes to gravitate towards field disciplines.
“I think it’s great because when I started the field event was not very well known locally, but now I walk down the streets and people know who I am, they know my event so I feel like I’ve brought some sort of light to the throwing event and the talent that we have here.
She said that while Trinidad and Tobago has been grooming more field athletes, there is a need to go out and get even more.
“We have a true talent for these technical events but they take a lot of time and patience to learn and execute, so I hope that even more athletes would choose to do field events.”
Like Gordon, Borel was cautiously optimistic about the upcoming Commonwealth Games.
“I’ll be doing my very best and the medals will land where they land. I plan on doing my best.” she said.