″It is not easy to be a broke athlete. I represented Sporting for four years and was only paid for one″

At the age of 30, Jordin Andrade competed in Eugene, in the US state of Oregon, in his second World Athletics Championships.

Cape Verdean Jordin Andrade felt the end of his athletics career in the first corner of the 400-meter hurdles of the World Championships, on Saturday, when an injury to his left knee forced him to abandon the competition.

At the age of 30, the former Sporting Barrier, born in Washington, United States, played in Eugene, in the US state of Oregon, his second World Championships, after his debut in London ‘2017, when he was in the qualifiers, with 50.32 seconds.

Inspired by his uncle Henry Andrade, also an Olympian in the same discipline for Cape Verde in Atlanta ‘1996, Jordin was at the Rio 2016 Games – in which he became the first representative of the African country to reach the semifinals – and Tokyo 2020.

“I want to start by thanking and honoring Cape Verde, for the opportunity they gave me to represent the country, because it has been an incredible experience, I couldn’t ask for more than what they offered me and I hope it inspires many young people”, began Jordin Andrade, son of Cape Verdean emigrants in the United States, in an interview with the Lusa agency.

The friendliness and good mood camouflaged the moment of farewell from the Hayward Field stadium, in the North American “city of athletics”, where, in 2015, he set his personal record at 49.24 seconds, after the early retirement, due to injury, of the first round of the World Cup 400 meters hurdles qualifiers.

Running as an individual, after having represented Sporting, which stopped supporting him, the difficulties of representing a small country are accentuated: “I was unable to travel, I could no longer pay my coach, I could no longer pay the my house, so I had to get two jobs to live”.

“It’s not easy to be a bankrupt athlete. I represented Sporting for four years and only got paid for one. I love athletics, even as a fan. Today I felt the atmosphere and immediately thought: I’m going to do this, come on! But I got over the first barrier and the first pain, but in the second, I immediately felt that my body had to stop and I stopped”, explained the 56th in the world ranking.

Without the opportunity to dedicate himself 100% to athletics, Jordin moved from Raleigh, North Carolina, where he had a full-time coach, to Dallas, Texas, to split between two jobs, as a substitute teacher and worker. in the airport.

“And that’s very much why I’m in this state today – Jordin came to the mixed zone at Hayward Field with a limp after dropping out of his heat – I couldn’t afford a physical therapist and have been turning to a student to have my recovery “, he lamented to Lusa, remembering that he is now part-time mentored and practically always training alone.

In 2021, an injury nearly ruled him out of the Olympics, but resorting to alternative training still took him to the Tokyo Olympic Stadium.

“After my first year in Dallas, I tried to push it because I was really looking forward to competing, and instead of getting better, it was getting worse, a month before I went for bike training and, in Tokyo, for the first time in the year that I ran without pain, I improved by a second to the best time of the season (50.64), it is for things like these that I would like to have a coach, a support team”, he said.

Without that, despite ensuring he remains “fast” and that he could continue his career, Jordin Andrade is already seriously looking to his future away from the tracks.

“I’m going to start studying to be a chiropractor. I would like to do a lot for my country, but I need it, I needed money, but my career seems to be getting closer and closer to the end because of things like these. Cape Verde supports me, and I’m grateful , because they support me to continue, but since I live in the United States, it is not enough to survive without any more support”, he concluded.