Johannesburg – South African sprinter Anaso Jobodwana refused to use his age as an excuse for finishing sixth in the 200 metres event at the world athletics championships in Moscow on Saturday.
“I don't want to use age as an excuse, I don't like that and I don't want it, he said.”
Jamaican Usain Bolt hit the line in a world leading time of 19.66 second but was well off his 19.19 world record in a race that saw countryman Warren Weir set a personal best 19.79 for silver and American Curtis Mitchell bronze in 20.04 seconds. For Bolt it was another double sprint gold to add to those of Beijing, Berlin and London.
“I know it takes time but age isn't an excuse, because all those guys have done better than I am doing when they were 21 years olds,” continued the Eastern Cape sprinter.
Although the third slowest out of the blocks, Jobodwana was close to Netherland's Churandy Martina coming out of the bend and with 60 metres remaining seemed to find energy to pick up speed, but he eventually tired towards the line where he was clocked at 20.14 seconds, 0.01 seconds outside his personal best.
Only Bolt and Weir had slower reaction times showing that power and velocity are the primary goals.
“I was happy about how I ran – I didn't lag this time like I did in London (Olympics). When I got to the straight I tried to kick and he was coming (back) but I started to tire up. I guess the coach will have to look at it and tell me what it is I did wrong, and then take it from there,” said Jobodwana.
South Africa's brightest sprint hope was philosophical in appraising his first World Championships.
“There are up and downs in everything. The up is that I ran three consistent races of a high standard. I made it to the final, but making the final is not enough. At this point I'm not really disappointed because I've still a lot to work on and I'm going to be ready for next season.
“Obviously on the down side is that I didn't run a personal best and that I didn't medal, but I guess that disappointment will help me going into next season”, he said.
The US-based student caught the attention of Bolt when he appeared on his inside in the semi-final and the appreciation of his progress was obvious both before and after the race where they exchanged fist-taps.
“He wished me luck at the start and acknowledged my run afterwards,” continued Jobodwana, who also attracted congratulations from a number of the athletes as they walked through the post race zone.
Having made already captured the double sprint gold in the World Student Games, made the 100m semi final at the beginning of the championships, and the 200m final on the penultimate day, there can be little doubt that Jobodwana's future is bright providing it continues to be guided properly.
There was some disappointment in the men's marathon, where the two South Africans finished well back. Sibusiso Nzima finished 43rd, in two hours 26.32, and Hendrick Ramaala 47th in two hours 30.23. – Sapa