Jobodwana stuns in 200m

2012-08-09 00:00

THE probable, the possible and the improbable that was short of a sandwich — the Olympic dream became a reality for Anaso Jobodwana last night when he qualified for the Olympic final.

It was the improbable outcome of the evening, but one that allows the 20-year-old to say with honesty “I came second to Usain Bolt in the Olympics.”

Usain Bolt took the 200 metres heat in his stride, crossing the line in 20,18, with the South African driving through in 20,28, a personal best (PB).

“I just went out to run my PB, I got that. It’s totally incredible running with Usain. I wasn’t expecting the final it was a bonus to me,” said the Jackson State University athlete who was congratulated by Bolt at the finish line.

Before the race the Border athlete kept his mind on his race. “I had to keep focused on my race. I had a few technical issues to work on from the heats; it was all about my own race and doing a PB.

“I’m going to look for another PB in the final,” continued a highly motivated Jobodwana, “I had no expectations of this, so I can just focus on my race [in today’s final 21:10 SA time].”

Maenwhile, Caster Semenya had an uneventful progression to tonight’s semi-finals of the 800 metres, running a controlled first heat for second spot behind Alysia Johnson Montano in a time of 2:00,71

The American led from start to finish, pulling the field through the first 400 metres in a fast 55,55 before taking the foot off the gas through to the final bend. The 26-year-old set the fastest time of the day in 2:00,47, with Moroccan Halima Hachlaf coming third to make the automatic qualification.

“The race was okay, although a bit fast in the first lap. I just had to maintain the pace in the top three,” said Semenya, “ The 800 m is a tactical race; you have to know how to run it from front to front. Normally you have to run sub-two to be a good contender [in the semis] so that’s what I’m looking for.”

The 21-year-old will have a tougher time in the semi-finals, in which both Kenyan Janeth Jepkosgei, Russian Elena Arzhakova and Johnson Montano join Semenya as the probable contenders for the two automatic places in the final. Semenya has a personal best of 1:55,45, second fastest in the competition to defending Olympic Champion Pamela Jelimo.

Different thoughts were running through Lehann Fourie’s mind before the 110 m hurdles.

“I have just 13 seconds to change my life,” said the 25-year-old South African who “invested in himself” by taking savings and assistance to get to the United States to prepare for the Olympics.

It may not have been the draw that Fourie would have chosen, but being sandwiched between world record holder Dayron Robles and Hansle Parchament gave the South African the pull required not only to dip to a personal best of 13,28 seconds, but also to race in the final. Fourie was a mere 0,02 seconds off the South African record.

Although away well and holding a fifth, Fourie was entangled with Robles who had pulled up with a hamstring injury. With Robles out of the running, Aries Merrit won the gold in 12,92, with Jason Richards earning silver in 13,04 and Parchament setting a new Jamaican record in 13,12, with Fourie seventh in 13,53.

Willem Coertzen put a solid first day’s work in the decathlon, running his 100 metres in 11,09 seconds, recording 7,17m in the long jump, putting the shot 13,79 metres, and then gaining additional points with a 2,05 m in the high jump and 48,56 for the 400 m. The London-based athlete finished the first day on 4 142 points in 11th position.

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