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