Record-breaker Jobodwana as he trains for upcoming IAAF World Championships
Focusing on fundamentals
Anaso Jobodwana’s coach has revealed the recipe for transforming the 22-yearold athlete into one of the top 200m sprinters in the world. This after the South African sprint sensation lowered Morné Nagel’s 13-year record of 20.11 to 20.06 on May 16 – then 20.04 two weeks later. In improving his time, Jobodwana finished second behind 2004 Olympic champion Justin Gatlin of the US at last weekend’s Diamond League meeting in Eugene, Oregon.
Stuart McMillan, who is known for developing the most effective means of getting athletes to go faster, guides Jobodwana at the World Athletics Centre in Arizona, Phoenix, US.
McMillan, who is performance director and sprint coach at the centre, told City Press from the US this week: “We spend a great deal of time and energy on two primary tasks – his mechanics and pretraining therapy.”
Commenting on whether Jobodwana was closing in on a sub-20second run, McMillan said: “We do not set time objectives.
“But we see Anaso as one of the top 200m sprinters in the world and expect him to compete at the highest levels for a long time to come. Anaso knows elite performance does not happen overnight – it requires a patient approach, and he has the ideal personality to understand this.
“He is a supremely talented sprinter. As you know, he had trouble with a number of injuries last year, so our primary objective going into the season was to ensure his health.”
McMillan boasts 22 years of professional coaching experience and has personally coached more than 60 Olympians – who have produced more than 30 medals between them at six Olympic Games.
According to McMillan, the Eastern Cape-born sprinter is still a work in progress.
“His mechanics were not good enough when he first arrived [at the centre in September 2014]. Although still a work in progress, he has improved substantially. We take a very proactive approach to our medical set-up.
“Anaso has at least 20 minutes of therapy before a training session to ensure his body is moving in an appropriate manner. We also ensure that he has at least one 60-minute massage per week and is on top of his self-therapy homework.”
McMillan added: “We are not pushing a lot of volume through him this year – just making sure that everything he does is of high quality and executed in a mechanically sound way.”
In Arizona, Jobodwana’s training partners include reigning Olympic 110m hurdles champion and world record holder Aries Merritt of the US.
Jobodwana, a 2012 Olympic Games 200m finalist, has already qualified for this year’s International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Beijing, China, from August 22 to 30.
“Our goal for Anaso at the world championships is for him to make the finals. Once there, anything can happen,” said McMillan.
Jobodwana claimed his first senior national title in the SA championships in Stellenbosch in April. He will run the 200m at the Diamond League in Oslo, Norway, on Thursday.
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