SA’s US-based sprinter on the mend

2014-04-20 15:00

South African Olympian Anaso Jobodwana is racing against time to be fully fit ahead of the Commonwealth Games and the African Championships later this year.

The 21-year-old sprinter is in the country undergoing rehabilitation for an iliopsoas muscle injury caused by repetitive hip flexion. (See graphic)

“The injury happened two and a half weeks ago, but it isn’t that serious. I can train but as soon as I start loading my muscles a little bit, it gives me problems for the next three days,” said the US-based sprinter who was a surprise guest at the SA Track and Field Championships in Pretoria last weekend.

He is undergoing rehab at the Prime Human Performance Institute, the sports medical, high performance and training facility in Durban.

Jobodwana will be observed by Dr Kevin Subban, the head sports doctor for the SA Olympic and Commonwealth Games teams.

“I contacted Sascoc [SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee] to have my rehab done at home,” said the World Students sprints double champion, adding that he expected to be running again by the middle of next month.

Jobodwana is one of a select few track and field athletes who benefit from the Sascoc Opex Programme, which offers athletes financial, medical and scientific assistance.

“I can make it to the Commonwealth Games [in Glasgow, Scotland, from July 23 to August 3] and the African champs [in Marrakech, Morocco, from August 10 to 14], but I will see how it goes as soon as I start running.”

The lad from Phakamisa township outside King William’s Town, Eastern Cape, is still adapting to the new environment in the US, where he has been based since 2010.

He said: “I moved from Jackson State University to the University of South Florida in January and I also have a new coach. My training was going quite well as I was hitting the times that I never hit at this time of the year. The training load has increased with a lot more speed work and endurance, and with all that happening, the muscles that have not been fired before got a lot of strain. The injury didn’t allow me to train last week.”

After watching Simon Magakwe become the first South African man to break the sub-10-second 100m barrier last Saturday, Jobodwana said he was looking forward to racing at home.

“Due to a clash in the timing of the championships [in SA and the US] and my schooling, it won’t be easy for me to race in the SA champs,” said Jobodwana, who last competed on these shores as a junior at the 2010 championships.

He has enjoyed a rapid rise on the track since achieving prominence at the 2012 Olympics, where he came second to Jamaican Usain Bolt in the 200m semifinals.

On two occasions last year, Jobodwana came close to breaking the SA records of 10.06 and 20.11 with personal bests of 10.10 (100m) and 20.13 (200m).

Hip Flexor Injury

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