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TURNAROUND TIME - Jehue prepares for mental battle

Kwame Laurence :: Trinidad Express :: 18.08.2016

After bowing out in the opening round at a major global meet for two years on the trot, Jehue Gordon is looking forward to a turnaround in 2017. At the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, and again, at the 2016 Olympic Games here in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the 2013 400 metres hurdles world champion did not progress to the semifinals in the event.

Gordon was hampered by an abdominal injury in 2015, and had surgery to rectify the problem when the season was over. For all of 2016, he has been battling to find his lost form, and exited Rio 2016 on Monday after finishing eighth and last in his qualifying heat in a slow 49.98 seconds.

"Two years back-to-back is disappointing," Gordon told the Express. "It's been a struggle. But next year, I think, is going to be more mental than anything, because I know what my body can do, I know what I'm capable of."

Gordon, who also battled a back injury in the build-up to the Olympic Games, said that while he is confident his body will not fail him in his preparations for next year's IAAF World Championships in London, England, he is concerned about support systems.

"The people who are on top need to put the infrastructure in place to support us. It's one thing to go to MJP (Michael Johnson Performance Center), but we need all-round analysis experts coming in and checking us out.

"Nobody knows what we're going through on a daily basis. It's one thing to run fast in March, but come April it's a different ball game. Come May, June, July, and now in August, it's completely different. We need people to be there for us genuinely, and to have our backs."

Gordon said he is not certain if he will compete in any post-Olympic meets.

"I have to take it to the team. It's not just about one or two or three people anymore. We definitely need a lot more involvement, in terms of moving forward and having a proper analysis. My coach (Dr Ian Hypolite) mentioned about getting a better analysis on my body. We were able to rectify a few problems, but we're sure there are other things that we are not seeing right now.

"Moving into next season," the Maraval hurdler continued, "is not going to be easy. You see a lot of younger guys coming up and running low-49s. Everybody's kind of catching up now, so we need every edge possible that we could get."

Gordon is still only 24, and not too worried about the missed opportunity here at Rio 2016.

"I've seen Angelo Taylor and Felix Sanchez win Olympics eight years apart. There's nothing to say we're not going to have bad years," Gordon ended. "But this is the time we get to see who's there for us."

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Kwame Laurence Rio Olympics 2016
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