It took Jehue Gordon a lot more than he may have expected to take the men’s 400m Hurdles World Junior title here in Moncton.
The outstanding favourite for gold, Gordon came into this competition undefeated with a season’s best time 48.47, almost two full seconds to spare over the second fastest in the field!
Yet tonight he crossed the line in 49.30 and although it proved enough for Gordon to win his first global title, the Trinidadian was only 16 hundredths of a second clear of silver medal winner Takatoshi Abe.
Gordon set off to a blistering start running in lane 5 he made up the stagger as early as the fourth barrier was cleared. His stride pattern remained fluid up until hurdle 8 but coming off the final bend he started to fatigue.
Running in 6, Abe remained unaffected when Gordon sped past him in the early half of the race, the Japanese making up precious ground in the second bend.
Gordon was still a couple of metres clear but Abe looked fresher. The Japanese hit the ninth barrier and it may well be that this mistake cost him some speed. Gordon was still superior and managed to hold on to cross the line in gold. The title was his but certainly he would have expected a much bigger margin.
Abe was rewarded with Japan’s first medal since 2004 and a new personal best time 49.46, an improvement of a massive 65 hundredths of a second.
Leslie Murray of the US Virgin Island won the race for bronze in 50.22 to become his country’s first ever medallist in the history of the IAAF World Junior Championships.