Anaso Jobodwana does sprint double in Russia

JANS – Jackson State sprinter Anaso Jobodwana represented his home country (South Africa) and claimed a prestigious sprint double at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia on July 10 after running the fastest 200 meters time yet by a South African.

Jobodwana stopped the clock in 20.00 seconds, but unfortunately for him the following wind was too great to allow his time to be classified as a national record. It would have bettered Morne Nagel’s record time by 0.11.

Up against defending champion Rasheed Dwyer of Jamaica, Jobodwana was slightly behind after the bend, but he flew past the Jamaican down the straight to secure an impressive victory. Dwyer came home in second in 20.23, with Japan’s Shota IIzuka taking third in 20.33.

Double – The last athlete to achieve the sprint double at the Games was Italy’s Pietro Mennea in 1975. Mennea later set a 200 meters world record of 19.72 seconds in 1979 that went on to stand for 17 years.

Jobodwana claimed the first part of the sprint double on July 8 when he rocketed to victory in the 100 meters by equaling his personal best time of 10.10 seconds, just four-hundredths of a second outside of the South African record shared by Johan Rossouw and Simon Magakwe.

Three athletes – Japan’s Ryota Yamagata, Ukraine’s Sergii Smelyk and the Ivory Coast’s Hua Wilfried Serge Koffi – followed the fleetfooted former Selborne College pupil across the line in similar times of 10.21.

Excellent form – Jobodwana has been in excellent form this season, running for Jackson State University in NCAA competition.

Earlier this year, he narrowly missed out on the 200 meters national record when he clocked 20.13 seconds at a meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina. At the time, it was the third fastest time in the world in 2013. At the same meet, he registered 10.10 in the 100 meters, a time he matched in Kazan.

After the action on July 10, South Africa sat in sixth place on the medal table with four gold medals, two silvers and two bronzes.