Jehue Gordon closed off his 2013 campaign in style, earning men’s 400 metres hurdles gold at the Belgacom Van Damme Memorial IAAF Diamond League meet, in Brussels Belgium, yesterday.
Crowned world champion in Moscow, Russia, last month, Gordon opted to stay in Europe and prepare for the Van Damme Memorial, rather than return to Trinidad and Tobago to begin celebrations. The decision paid off, the T&T track star stopping the clock at 48.32 seconds to capture the top prize.
Coming off the final turn, Gordon trailed Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson. But, like he did in Moscow, Gordon finished strong, his home straight run earning the 21-year-old the second Diamond League win of his career. On July 19, this year, he was victorious for the first time on the elite circuit, clocking 48 seconds flat for gold in Monaco.
In yesterday’s race, there was a three-way battle for second, Cuban Omar Cisneros securing silver in 48.59 seconds. Culson was just one-hundredth of a second slower, getting home in 48.60 to claim bronze. Fourth-placed Michael Tinsley, of the United States, also clocked 48.60.
Culson accumulated 15 points at six Diamond League meets to emerge as the overall men’s 400m hurdles winner, earning the Diamond Trophy and US$40,000 first prize. Gordon’s victories in Monaco and Brussels were worth 12 points and second spot overall in the one-lap hurdles Diamond Race. The Brussels win earned the T&T athlete double points.
Gordon’s 48.32 seconds run, yesterday, was the sixth fastest clocking of his career. He established a new national record—47.69 seconds—in the World Championship final, last month. The clocking is the fastest time in the world this year, and puts Gordon in 22nd spot on the all-time men’s 400m hurdles performance list.
Gordon, whose rewards for World Championship gold, included the second highest national award, Chaconia Gold, returns home tomorrow (Sunday).
Another T&T athlete, Keston Bledman was in the men’s 100m field in Brussels. Bledman finished ninth in 10.19 seconds.
Reigning world and Olympic champion Usain Bolt dominated the field, the Jamaican megastar winning in 9.80 seconds. American Michael Rodgers clocked 9.90 to secure the runner-up spot, while third spot went to another Jamaican, Nesta Carter in 9.94. Fourth-placed Justin Gatlin, of the United States, also got to the line in 9.94.