South African Athletics

Jobodwana delivers on promise

2015-08-27 18:12
Anaso Jobodwana (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Anybody following South African sprinting sensation Anaso Jobodwana’s progress as an athlete would not have been surprised by his bronze-medal winning run in the men’s 200m final at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing on Thursday.

Jamaican sprinting legend Usain Bolt was in a class of his own as he destroyed the rest of the field to post a winning time of 19.55 with American Justin Gatlin taking silver in 19.74.

Jobodwana had to work hard for his medal as he beat Panama’s Alonso Edward - who posted the same time of 19.87 - in a photo-finish.

The 23-year-old dashed to a new South African record, shaving 0.07 seconds off the previous mark held by newly crowned 400m world champion Wayde van Niekerk.

“It was a rough season and before this I ran 20.20, so I just told myself that I was gonna go and try for the best,” Jobodwana said in a flash interview with the on Thursday.

“It always feels great to run against those guys. I started to run in 2008 and running against him (Bolt) always gives you some energy.”

Jobodwana is believed to be the inspiration behind South Africa’s recent sprinting boom after reaching the London 2012 Olympic Games final in the half-lap sprint.

There he finished in eighth place before claiming the rare 100-200m double gold at the 2013 World University Games in Kazan, Russia.

Later that year he made the 200m final at the Moscow World Championships where he finished in a creditable sixth place.

In May this year he broke Morne Nagel’s South African 200m record in the Caribbean before shaving 0.02 seconds off the record two weeks later.

Jobodwana would later relinquish his national record to Van Niekerk, who became the first South African to dip below 20 seconds in the 200m posting a time of 19.94 in July.

However, on Thursday not only did he regain the national record in the half-lap sprint, but also became only the second South African to dip below 20 seconds in this event.

Earlier, Olympic silver medallist Caster Semenya was eliminated in her 800m semi-final where she looked sluggish from the gun to finish in last place.

The early fast pace set by the leading pack proved too much for the South African record holder as she clocked a pedestrian 2:03.18.

This performance was in stark contrast from the day before when she posted a time of 1:59.59, her fastest time in two years.

South African horizontal jumps ace Khotso Mokoena had to be content with ninth place in the triple jump final with a best effort of 16.81m.

American jumper Christian Taylor leapt to the second best distance of all time to claim the title in style with his 18.21m final attempt.

Cuba’s Pedro Pichardo won the silver medal with 17.73m while Nelson Evora of Portugal bagged the bronze with 17.52m.

South African women’s sprinter Justine Palframan also came unstuck in her 200m semi-final finishing sixth with a time of 23.04.

Read more on:    anaso jobodwana  |  athletics

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