CAPE TOWN – The world 100m champion is in Mzansi! Justin Gatlin landed at OR Tambo International on Tuesday evening ahead of his race in Pretoria on Thursday.
The 36-year-old will take part in the Athletix Grand Prix Series event at the LC de Villiers Stadium, where he will compete in the little-run 150m.
Gatlin will take on South Africa’s own sprinting star, Anaso Jobodwana, in the unusual distance.
With Jobodwana being a 2015 world championship bronze medallist in the 200m in Beijing, it is sure to be a thrilling race against Gatlin, who won silver on that day behind Usain Bolt.
But Gatlin stunned the world by winning gold in the 100m world champs in London last year, with Bolt finishing third behind Christian Coleman.
“This is a season where it is a little more peculiar as I have never started this early and ran this distance before. But I’m trying to feel it out and seeing where it is going to take me in the next two years,” Gatlin said recently about running in the Pretoria event.
“That’s where we are really going to be.
“In 2019 (world championships in Doha, Qatar), you are going to be running so late, in October, so it gives me, the coaching staff and teammates an opportunity to kind of like play around a little bit – see where we’re at, take the race serious and use it also as a launching pad for the rest of the season.”