Jehue Gordon is one of only two Trinidad and Tobago athletes to win a world championships gold medal. The other is Ato Boldon. The former is interviewed by the latter for the latest episode of IAAF Inside Athletics.

Jehue Gordon is not a man to show fear. He possesses the confident air of a world champion, and that’s because he is a world champion.

Even as a 17-year-old at his very first world champs appearance in Berlin 2009, the 400m hurdler was intent on showing no sign of weakness when lining up against the athletes he still counted as his idols.

“I could not have shown them any fear,” he tells Ato Boldon. “I had respect, but there is a difference from having respect and having fear for your opponent.”

Though he had “nothing to lose”, Gordon was keen to mix it with the pros and make a statement to the world.

“Back in Berlin I ran as free as a bird. Especially one of those birds that just goes out and meets the other animals out in the wild. I had fun […].

“I left everything on the track. I know I was the youngest. Nobody expected me to win, and I wanted to show the world that Jehue is not afraid of anyone.”

He finished fourth in a then national record 48.26, just 0.03 outside of a medal. It was a confident performance that belied his tender years.

His progression was swift. In 2010 he became world junior champion. He then turned down a scholarship at an American university and opted to turn pro.

It was a decision he made with the help of his family, friends, coach (he has been under the stewardship of Dr Ian Hypolite since the age of 12) and own instinct. The reality of turning his back on home comforts also proved decisive.

“It’s a process, right?” he says. “I think I was still developing at 17-years-old, I was not ready to leave home. My mum was still cooking, she was washing my clothes still. She still does it up to this day!”

Though it was a gamble to stay in Trinidad, it paid off: in 2013 he became the world champion. As much as he is relishing the opportunity to defend his world crown in Beijing later this year, Gordon has an eye on the long-term.

Still only 23-years-old, he has adjusted to running fewer races compared to his high school days, even if his athlete’s instinct to compete has to be checked.

“Sometimes you have to look at the long-term effect and see about your body,” he says. “That’s why Kim Collins is doing what he’s doing today.

“I guess that’s what my coach wants. I also want to have a long span in the sport and make a name for myself. I can’t get too vexed with that, man.”

Watch the full nine-minute interview below: