Jamaican dream realised for US-born Gordon
EUGENE, OREGON — A year ago Daeshon Gordon was heartbroken when she had to be taken off the Jamaican team to the IAAF World Junior Championships in Donetsk, Ukraine, after her passport was not processed in time.
The Florida-born hurdler had won the 400m hurdles at the JAAA National Junior Trials, but despite efforts to expedite her documents, they were not completed in time for her to join the team.
At the time she was ranked in the top five in the world in the 400m hurdles and was expected to make the final.
Gordon had no such issues this year and made the trip to the IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene, Oregon, and despite not making it to the final of the 100m hurdles, said the experience has been priceless.
"It means everything for me to be able to represent Jamaica," she told the Jamaica Observer after the semi-finals of the 100m hurdles on Saturday. "Last year was a big loss for me, but I just wanted to come back and show everyone that I really wanted to run for Jamaica."
While she was born in Florida, she said her father is from Salt Marsh in Trelawny and has three sisters there who she visits as often as she can.
Gordon was fourth in her first-round heat of the 100m hurdles on Friday and advanced to the semi-finals where she was again fourth, but failed to advance. She said she was satisfied she gave it her best.
She will be heading to Louisiana State University (LSU) this year and said she was "excited" about the prospects there. "Better training facilities there as well as the high standards will make me better and will push me even harder."
At LSU she said she may have to choose between the 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles which she said will be difficult.
"It is hard to choose between the 100m and 400m hurdles. I love them both and work hard at both, but as I go along people tell me I will have to choose one."
One of the reasons was that it will be difficult to do both at the next level. "But I have been doing them both for a while, it will be hard to choose."
The World Juniors was "a great experience, getting to meet my new teammates and bonding with them", she explained.
She added that she has struck up a good relationship with 400m runners Yanique McNeil and Dawnalee Loney, as well as sprint hurdler Tyler Mason.