Port-of-Spain, Sep 11 (IANS/CMC) Ian Hypolite, coach of world 400 metres hurdles champion Jehue Gordon, believes the Trinidadian’s success will boost the profile of the sport in Trinidad and Tobago.
Hypolite was addressing a reception Tuesday in honour of Gordon’s gold medal run at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow last month, reports Xinhua.
Gordon was showered with praise and gifts for clocking a personal best 47.69 seconds to win World Championship gold.
“It is a massive success and of course people migrate toward success,” said Gordon. “There has been a lot of interest in the club and moreso a lot of interest expressed in hurdling and hopefully this will generate the type of atmosphere and interest we need to promote it.”
Gordon is the second athlete from Trinidad and Tobago to earn World Championship gold, following in the footsteps of 1997 men’s 200 metres champion Ato Boldon.
As reward for his accomplishment at the World Championships, Gordon would receive the Chaconia Gold Medal, a mid-sized house and $800,000, the Minister of Sports Anil Roberts announced.
Hypolite will also be rewarded with the Chaconia Silver Medal next year along with $200,000.
“It is very important to have achieved this because it represents an opportunity for local coaches to step up to the plate. I stressed that it is important to prepare yourself to accept the responsibility,” Hypolite said.
“When you take on the opportunity to coach someone who has the option to go anywhere in the world, then you recognise just how important that is and to do that, you have to develop yourself to handle that responsibility. It is a message for local coaches to do the same and to start producing.”
Gordon followed up his world championship run with another golden run at the Belgacom Van Damme Memorial IAAF Diamond League meet, in Brussels, Belgium, Friday.
“I am just grateful for everything that has been offered to me so far,” he said.
Gordon resumes his studies in two weeks’ time but for now he is enjoying his success.
“This year I’m kind of embracing the moment being number one. Next year anything can happen. I am just taking it one day at a time.”