SA champ surprises Bolt

2013-08-17 00:00

SPRINTER Anaso Jobodwana has crept up on the big names of the World Championships being held in Moscow, and has booked his place in Saturday evening’s final.

“I overlooked him in this race, and didn’t hear him on my inside until the last minute,” said world record holder Usain Bolt, who had eased his way through last night’s second heat of the 200 m semi-finals without noticing the 21-year-old South African accelerate to his shoulder as they came out of the stagger.

“He’s a good lad. I’ve competed with him over the championships. I’m just pleased he’s out there and getting it done,” continued Bolt, who shared a laugh with Jobodwana at the finish where they clocked 20,12 and 20,13 respectively. His time equalled his personal best and is only 0,02 seconds outside the SA record held by Morné Nagel.

“That was cool,” said Jobodwana, who was drawn inside to Bolt and caught up the two-metre gap along the home straight, before Bolt looked inside, then accelerated to regain control.

“Every time I run against Usain it’s a honour, he’s a legend: he’s done everything in track and field. Running against him gives me a chance to run better.”

Although it would be easy to be overawed by the occasion the youngster has his Olympic final experience to draw on, and has the confidence of a man who can go better.

“I think I ran a good final 100 m, but think I can do better. The start was better in the heats, so I have to go back and do that again tomorrow then it will be a good race.”

The USA-based student counted for many top names in his race, including Isiah Young who had a 19,86 PB, but failed to make the final.

However qualifying times will mean nothing for the final where Bolt is in lane four and Jobodwana was granted his wish of lane seven.

“The top three spots are four, five, six, but lane seven is good,” continued Jobodwana, who has nothing to lose and an SA record on the cards. “It’s about running my best race, then I know that everything will translate to good results, personally and within the field,”

Earlier, Johan Cronje graduated to tomorrow’s 1 500 m final following his fifth place 3:43,71 in the first of the semis.

Cronje was worried “big time” when the kick from 500 m out resulted in his being boxed in at the bell.

“Luckily I responded quickly and went to the second lane, and stayed there around the bends. I couldn’t make back the gap [on the leaders]”, Cronje fought Britain’s Chris O’Hare, and the early leader Lopez Lomong over the final 80 m to secure the final automatic qualifier, behind winner Abel Kiprop.

“It was a very slow race, but that’s why I had to be up front early on. The race was full of hard kickers,” said the Bloemfontein athlete.

“I’m through — I’m happy. Now it’s about the final. I have nothing to prove to anybody so I’m going out to give it my all, and improve my PB (3:33,46)” continued Cronje.

In the morning session, Sunette Viljoen took only one throw to qualify for tomorrow’s javelin final.

The defending bronze medallist from Daegu 2011 took a controlled run to launch her spear well beyond the 61,50 m automatic qualification mark.

Seconds later 64,51 m flickered onto the scoreboard: Job done and time to focus on the final.

“We’ve been working hard. I don’t want to say too much before the final,” said the Potchefstroom athlete, who improved on her 63,49 seasons best, but will probably need another three metres to get to the podium.

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