By Andre E Baptiste
Everybody wants a piece of him, and after his tremendous performance on Monday in the Mens 400 metres, the pieces that make up the part of La Londe Gordon will be worth even more.
La Londe Gordon is 23years old and this Sagittarius born ,Trinidad and Tobago citizen made history for himself at these games winning Trinidad and Tobago’s first medal with a spectacular finish in the mens 400 metres , to grab third and almost snatch second in a personal best time of 44.52
“If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!”
Those are the words from “ If “ , the last line of the famous Rudyard Kipling poem, and they apply to our new Olympic Bronze medallist - La Londe Gordon - , who stormed down the straight at 4.31pm ( Trinidad and Tobago time) , and almost caught second place finisher Luguelin Santos.
And when asked by the media , why the 400 metres , is so popular , a clearly overjoyed Gordon , said “ It is a Man’s race , it is a Man’s race ...” . It seems this Tobago born athlete who also runs the 200 metres , has been doing extra reading in his spare time and reading poetry at that.
Gordon was born in Lowlands , Tobago and left for the United States at the age of ten with his family , he now resides in Queens New York and some members of the American media looking for a saviour in the sport , given their previous dominance , asked him about that , but he quickly said ,” This is for Trinidad and Tobago , this is for all the support , I have received from the people of Trinidad and Tobago and all my team members,”
No one expected this , where did this young man come from ? He even said as much ,” I know , people may not know me , but I want to continue to improve in this sport, it is just a wonderful feeling .”
His teammates , describe him as crazy , Richard Thompson saying ,” He is a crazy character, he can either run a sub 44 or 45 plus, he is just so different and says all kind of things, but with good intentions, He is very talented, we are not surprised by his performances”
Gordon laughed when told this ,” I agree , I am still crazy ...”
His Manager , Dexter Voisin was not surprised , saying the night before , everyone was talking about where this Trinidadian came from ,” After the semi finals on Sunday , all of the other 400 metres runners, were talking about him, who is this Trini Man in red , at the dinner table , Kirani James was sitting not far from s , but he was only staring at him,”
“ What makes La Londe so dangerous , is that , he is not one of those athletes , that thinks long and hard about anything , he just goes out and does his stuff” added Voisin
Perhaps what makes him so good , is his dedication, his desire to succeed and the fact, that he runs a pretty fast 200 metres, as evidenced by his time early this year in boston, where he ran a personal best of 20.58 in Boston on the 28th of January, 2012
Gordon first represented Trinidad and Tobago at the CAC Games in 2010 , but did not make it to the World Championships.Gordon ran track and field at Mohawk Valley in 2009 and now runs for the Zenith Velocity Club team of Jersey City.
After winning the 400 metres at the national trials in June , when he beat Renny Quow with a storming late surge , Gordon’s time of 45.40 , was still not good enough to secure a place on the 400 metres individual team for London as it was outside of the qualification time of 45.30.
However , again in the face of adversity and Doubt , this tall elegant runner responded like a “ man”Two weeks later in July, Gordon ran at a United States meet in Omaha , Nebraska and won in a time of 45.02 to book his place in the team.
The rest is now history , he has become a household name with immediate effect in Trinidad and Tobago, and he deserves it for his great spirit and openness,