Sport

Gordon eyes top prize

BY SANJAY MYERS Observer staff reporter myerss@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, May 03, 2014    

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WORLD 400-metre hurdles champion Jehue Gordon said he will be keeping his "eye on the prize" at today's Jamaica International Invitational (JII) Meet at the National Stadium in Kingston.

Gordon, the Trinidad & Tobago star athlete, though expressing confidence in his early season preparation, conceded that he also expects his rivals to put in good showings.

"It's always a great atmosphere coming out and competing in Jamaica. There will be great rivals [in the race] so it's just to bring out my 'A' game," he told reporters shortly after arriving at the Norman Manley International Airport on Thursday.

Gordon's main threats to the finishing line are likely to be the seasoned Felix Sanchez, the Olympic champion from Dominican Republic, and Leford Green, one of Jamaica's top 400m hurdlers.

"They are really good competitors and on the day anything can happen... in the 400m nothing is really guaranteed.

"I just got to remember that I have a job to complete and must keep my eye on the prize," the 22-year-old added.

He contended that ultimately the JII Meet is a stepping stone towards the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, this summer.

According to the former World Junior champion, his fitness is right where it needs to be.

"This is just the build-up and as the season progresses things are going to change. It's a great start to be out here as we continue progressing towards the Commonwealth Games because that is going to be the high point for us this year in the Caribbean and in the Commonwealth.

"I wouldn't say I'm super fit, but it's where it needs to be at this point in time. We are in May and my season is ending in August, so there is a lot to do.

"It [this meet] is just a good indicator where fitness is at, it's a good indication of what I need to work on, so for me it's just to come out and execute everything I've been working on in practice, the speed, the strength and the hurdling technique," the six-foot two-inch runner explained.

Gordon, who finished sixth in the final of the one-lap hurdles event at the 2012 London Olympics before fulfilling his boyhood promise to win gold in a personal best of 47.69s at the World Championships in Russia a year later, said he still has areas in which he would like to improve.

"Even though I won the World Championships last year in Moscow, I still have a lot of weaknesses to work on and I'm in school, so I don't get to do everything that is required of me to really be a full-time elite athlete.

"I think when school is over I'll be able to put in a lot more work and a lot more stuff that will help me to reach my full potential at a faster pace. Now we are just being patient," said the University of the West Indies student.

Gordon, who is one of the few top athletes training on home soil in Trinidad & Tobago, admitted that his performance at the Olympics indicated that he was not psychologically ready for such a stage.

"I think I probably got too caught up in the hype of the Olympic Games. It was my first Olympic Games and I really did not know what to expect," Gordon said.

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