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#TuksAthletics: Jobodwana hopes for third time lucky racing against Gatlin
7 March 2018

Anaso Jobodwana (Tuks) will be hoping for it to be third time lucky when he takes on the current world champion, Justin Gatlin (USA), tomorrow over 150m during the Liquid Telecom Athletics Grand Prix-meeting at Tuks.

The former South African record holder over 200 metres said he has only raced against Gatlin twice and both times Gatlin outsprinted him. 

“I have to get him before he retires,” Jobodwana said smiling broadly and admitting to being realistically confident of getting one over Gatlin. 

“My training has been going well, but I know the type of athlete, Justin, is. I will have to bring my A-game to the track tomorrow if I want to have any chance.

“What makes Justin such a good sprinter is his explosiveness out of the blocks. I will have to make sure I stay in touch with him around the bent to have a chance to catch up with him down the straight.  If I can beat him, it will be a good confidence booster for the rest of the season.

“The biggest mistake I can make is to put too much pressure on myself. My only focus is going to be on executing the perfect race. Whatever the outcome it will also be important to get what I can from the race and learn,” said the Tuks-athlete who at last week’s Grand Prix-meeting at Ruimsig won the 200m in a time of 20.13s. It is his fastest time since 2015.

In Ruimsig Jobodwana did not hold back when he realised that he was going to beat Clarence
Munyai (Tuks) pointing towards him as he sprinted across the line. According to him, it was not meant as a form of disrespect

“It is who I am. I have been doing it since my high school days. My gestures on the track are always spontaneous as I am in the zone at that moment.”

There will be no repeat showdown tomorrow as Munyai has opted to compete in the 100m tomorrow. The Tuks-athlete believes that he is capable of running an even faster time than the 10.10s he ran at the Gauteng North Championships.  The fact that he will be pushed by the South African record-holder, Akani Simbine, will aid him in his quest for a fast time.

Although it is Simbine’s first race for the season, it is highly likely that something amazing is going to happen especially considering that over the last two years he has become in the habit of starting his season’s campaign with a sub ten-second race. The Tuks track has become a favourite “hunting ground” for Simbine. During last year’s Gauteng North Championships he has managed to run times of 9.98s and 9.95s on the same day.

In the 400m-hurdles it is going to be a case of a former world champion racing a current world champion.  Kenia’s Nicholas Bett won the senior world title in 2015 while Sokwakhana Zazini (TuksSport High School) is the current world youth champion.

Some will scoff at the idea of a youngster impacting on a senior race, but then again Zazini is not any youngster. At the Gauteng North Championships, only his second race competing against seniors, he won his heat beating the likes of LJ van Zyl and Le Roux Hamman who are both Olympians. 

Hennie Kriel who coaches Zazini makes it clear that Zazini is only racing to gain experience, but the youngster is highly competitive. Making it clear he never race just to make up the numbers. 

Bett is in good form. Earlier this season at a league meeting at Tuks he won running 48.95s which is currently the world leading time.


- Author Wilhelm de Swardt
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Last edited by Leonore JordaanEdit
Photo Credit: Reg Caldecott