Anaso Jobodwana and Justin Gatlin wave to at Tuks Stadium on Thursday. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

PRETORIA - Following his victory in the 150m race at the Athletix Grand Prix Series event in Pretoria on Thursday, Anaso Jobodwana is targeting a sub-10 second 100m.

If Jobodwana has his way, it could happen as early as next week during the South African Championships at Tuks.

Xolani-Parker Dwayne Jobodwana might not realise it yet, but he is the one who is inspiring his dad to take his sprinting abilities to the next level.

On Thursday Jobodwana out-sprinted the 100m world champion, Justin Gatlin (USA) over 150 metres.

The Tuks-athlete did so only a day after becoming a father for the first time. Due to his sprinting obligations, he could not witness the birth of his son in the USA.

The Tuks-athlete was proud to get one over Gatlin, especially since the decorated American was victorious in their first two encounters on the track. Moments after finishing he dedicated his victory to his son.

“I fully realise that Gatlin is at this stage not near his best. It was his first race of the season, but I will be honest it is nice to get a victory over a world champion under the belt. There are not many athletes that can claim to have beaten Gatlin. It is something I will cherish."

Jobodwana is not one to rest on his laurels. Sub 10-seconds in the 100 metres is his next goal. He and his coach, Thabo Mathebedi, believe there is no reason why it can’t happen during the national championships.

“There are a few small little things we need to work on to ensure that Anaso is that few hundredths of a second faster. The biggest is making sure that he is faster out of the blocks and he drives stronger over the first 20 or so metres to get to his top speed,” said Mathebedi.

His coach is not surprised that his protégé has beaten Gatlin.

“I could have told people beforehand that he will do just from seeing what he is doing during our training sessions. Anaso has rediscovered the confidence in his sprinting abilities. That is exciting. I honestly believe that Anaso can dip under ten seconds and when he does a sub-20 second time in the 200m is also a foregone conclusion.”

According to Jobodwana, he was told way back in 2013 that he can dip under 10 seconds in the 100, but because of his success over 200 metres, he did not place much emphasis on the 100 metres.

The Tuks-athlete hopes to compete in the 100m, 200m and the 4x100m-relay at the Commonwealth Games. At the South African Championships, he will only race the 100 metres.

“My biggest challenge up to then is to improve my speed over the 100m. The only way to do so is to remain a serious student of the art of sprinting.”

African News Agency (ANA)

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