Johannesburg – With the South African 200m record in the bag, sprinting
sensation Anaso Jobodwana believes he can win a medal in one of the most
competitive events at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing in August.
The 2012 London Olympics finalist blitzed to a new national record at the
Cayman Invitational over the weekend in a time of 20.06 seconds breaking Morne
Nagel's old mark of 20.11 seconds he set in Germiston in April 2002.
“My goals are to stay consistent, run sub-20 for the first time and also be
a medal contender at world champs, that’s very hard but it’s possible with the
right frame of mind and with the team behind me,” Jobodwana said from his base
World Athletics Centre in Phoenix, Arizona.
Jobodwana rose from relative obscurity to make it into the Olympic 200m
final as a 20-year-old where the Jamaican trio of World Record holder Usain
Bolt, Yohan Blake and Warren Weir took first, second and third place
Finishing eighth, Jobodwana was strikingly calm after rubbing shoulders with
the world’s fastest men and it was clear the sprinter from King William's Town
in the Eastern Cape had a bright future ahead of him.
In 2013 he lived up to expectations when he bagged a rare short sprint double
at the World Student Games in Kazan, Russia in the 100m and 200m.
However, the next year proved to be an anti-climax when he missed most of
the season including the Commonwealth Games thanks to a hernia operation.
The setback only proved a brief hiatus from his record-breaking pursuit as
he continued where he had left off when he posted a time of 19.87 seconds at
the at the Texas Relays in the United States in March but the wind reading was
“I think after the windy run I felt like it was possible to run fast this
time of the season, my training has been geared that way as well,” Jobodwana
said after dipping below 20 seconds.
While he was delighted with his record-breaking run over the weekend,
Jobodwana looked at the achievement in more practical terms.
“It means that I’m putting together a good race plan and that my work in
training is being translated onto the track which is the most important thing,”
Jobodwana’s coach Stuart McMillan told the World Athletics Centre’s website
that he expected greater achievements from the star athlete.
“He has yet to put anything like a complete race together, and I am looking
forward to him running sub-20 seconds once he does,” McMillan said.
“His next race is at the Prefontaine Classic at the Eugene Diamond League
meet, and I’m looking forward to seeing how he does there.”
At the Eugene Diamond League meeting on May 30 Jobodwana will go up against
a top-notch field that includes United States sprinter Justin Gatlin, who
clocked a world-leading 9.74 seconds in the 100 metres at the Doha Diamond
League meeting on Friday.