FANTASTIC FREDERICKS: South Africa Cornel Fredericks, centre, clears the last hurdle ahead of Bahamas Jeffery Gibson, left, and Trinidad and Tobago Jehue Gordon as he runs to win the final of the men’s 400m hurdles athletics event at Hampden Park during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, yesterday. —Photo: AFP

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SWEET SILVER

Jehue 2nd in season’s best 48.75

By Kwame Laurence in Glasgow

As he had done at last year’s IAAF World Championships, Jehue Gordon dived for the line at Hampden Park, here in Glasgow, Scotland, yesterday. The result was silver, the Trinidad and Tobago track star producing his fastest time this season—48.75 seconds—to earn precious metal at his first Commonwealth Games.

“I was definitely feeling somebody fast approaching,” Gordon told the Express, “and I just wanted to make sure I had it covered. I started to feel some lactic (acid) over the last ten metres, so I just pushed my whole body. Forget head, my whole body went.”

A fast-finishing Jeffery Gibson was the man challenging Gordon for the runner-up spot in the championship race. Gibson, though, had to settle for bronze, the Bahamian getting to the line in a national record time of 48.78.

After clearing the 10th and last hurdle, Gordon closed in on the leader, Cornel Fredericks. The South African, however, had done the required work earlier in the race, and stayed in front at the end for an impressive victory in 48.50 seconds.

At the 2013 Worlds in Moscow, Russia, Gordon’s lunge for the line had earned him the title, the “push yuh head” advice of his mother, Marcella Woods bearing golden fruit. In Glasgow, the fruit was silver. But it came at a price, Gordon hurting his hip when he tumbled to the track.

“At this time I’m in a little pain. Hopefully it’s nothing serious.”

Going into the final, Gordon had not dived under 49 seconds in 2014. But the reigning world champion usually comes good at major championships, and yesterday was no different. 

“Thanks to Jehovah God. It’s been a rough season, and at the end of the day I produced when I needed to. Another medal for Trinidad and Tobago, another medal to the tally, and hopefully the team will continue collecting more medals.”

To date, the T&T medal haul is four--silver for Gordon and shot putter Cleopatra Borel, and bronze for triple jumper Ayanna Alexander and quartermiler Lalonde Gordon. The country is also assured of at least bronze from lightweight boxer Michael Alexander, who squares off against Northern Ireland’s Joe Fitzpatrick in a semifinal bout today.

Gordon dismissed the notion that Team T&T has been underperforming at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

“Everybody has their own expectations. We as the athletes and the team working with the athletes are inside the inner circle, so we would know more than the people who are outside. They would quicker say, based on ‘he say’ and ‘she say’ and hearsay, but we know what we’re working with, the challenges we are faced with, and at the end of the day we could just give it our best.”

Gordon has had his share of challenges this season. In addition to exams at University of the West Indies (UWI), Gordon was troubled by a leg injury that prevented him from being aggressive over the hurdles.

“Certain things kind of hampered me from training, and we sorted it out. I had some good physiotherapy for the minor injury I had behind my biceps femoris.”

Gordon also praised his coach, Dr Ian Hypolite, the T&T chef de mission here in Glasgow, “for analysing what we needed to work on”.

The 22-year-old athlete said that though he places greater value on his World Championship gold medal, Commonwealth Games silver is a welcome addition to his résumé.

“It’s still a major competition, and everyone wanted to prove themselves.”

With his 48.75 run at Hampden Park, Gordon proved once again to be a championship one-lap hurdler who produces the goods when it matters most.

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