11 July 2013
South African sprinter Anaso Jobodwana claimed a prestigious sprint double at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia on Wednesday after running the fastest 200 metres 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.
The last athlete to achieve the sprint double at the Games was Italy’s Pietro Mennea in 1975. Mennea later set a 200 metres world record of 19.72 seconds in 1979 that went on to stand for a staggering 17 years.
Jobodwana had claimed the first part of the sprint double on Monday when he rocketed to victory in the 100 metres by equalling 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 fleet-footed former Selborne College pupil across the line in similar times of 10.21.
Jobodwana has been in excellent form this season, running for Jackson State University in NCAA competition in the USA.
Earlier this year, he narrowly missed out on the 200 metres 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 meeting, he registered 10.10 in the 100 metres, a time he matched in Kazan.
After Wednesday’s action, South Africa sat in sixth place on the medal table with four gold medals, two silvers and two bronzes.
10 000m gold
Apart from Jobodwana’s gold medals, there was another gold won on the track when Stephen Mokoka held off Russia’s Russia’s Anatoly and Evgeny Rybakov to win the 10 000 metres in 28:45.96.
Jeremiah Motsau picked up a bronze medal in the 1 500 metres, clocking 3:39.51, only 12 hundredths-of-a-second behind the winner, Russia’s Valentin Smirnov, and six-hundredths behind Canada’s Jeremy Rae.
Field athletes contributed another two medals.
Former World Junior champion Robert John Oosthuizen picked up second in the javelin, with a distance of 81.63 metres, behind only Dmitry Tarabin of Russia’s excellent distance of 83.11 metres. In the women’s discus, Maryke Oberholzer secured the bronze medal behind the Russian pair of Vera Geneeva and Elena Panova with a best throw of 54.09 metres.
Rowing delivered another gold medal when the University of Johannesburg’s Kirsten McCann claimed a win in the A Final of the women’s lightweight singles sculls.
She led through all 500, 1 000 and 1 500 metres, slightly extending her lead at each mark to ultimately finish four seconds clear of runner-up Olga Arkadova of Russia in a time of 8:10.62.
The women’s coxless fours team of Claire-Louise Bode, Kate Christowitz, Holly Norton and Catherine Stark added a silver medal by finishing second behind the hosts, Russia, in the A final.