World champion hurdler Gordon honoured

Port of Spain, Aug 31 (IANS/CMC) Trinidad and Tobago's 400 metre hurdler Jehue Gordon is to be presented with the Chaconia Gold Medal, one of the country's highest awards, as a reward for capturing the gold at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow earlier this month.

Gordon, 21, ran a world leading time of 47.69 seconds, leaning forward to capture the country's second World Championships gold medal ahead of America's Michael Tinsley who finished in 47.70 seconds to bag silver.

T&T's only other World Championship gold medal came from sprinter Ato Boldon who won the men's 200m in the 1997 World Championships in Athens, Greece.

"I just want to say thanks ... thanks to the whole government for these amazing gifts," said Gordon Friday.

"It is truly a blessing and I really can't wait to come home. It has been too long outside here right now but I still have a job to get finished."

Gordon's performance in Russia came after he showed great potential in finishing fourth at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany, as a 17-year-old junior athlete.

The reward package includes a monetary reward of $800,000 and a mid-sized house from the Housing Development Corporation.

He will also receive a grant of an annual bursary from the University of the West Indies (UWI) to cover the cost of housing, books, meals and transportation as well as free airline tickets from Caribbean Airlines.

"His local coach, Dr Ian Hypolite, has been recommended in next year's award ceremony for the Chaconia Silver Medal and shall receive $200,000 this year for his contribution to coaching Jehue," said Sports Minister Anil Roberts.

"Also, the Cabinet of Trinidad and Tobago approved the sum of $250,000 to George Bovell III for bringing bronze to T&T in the World Swimming Championships in Barcelona, Spain."

A track to be constructed in collaboration with UWI at its campus in St Augustine will be named after Jehue Gordon.

Gordon will be in action next Friday in the Brussels Diamond League meet in Belgium before returning home.

--IANS/CMC

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