JO­BOD­WANA’S FALSE START COSTS SA

De­lib­er­ate move by SA run­ner was a way of say­ing he did not want to run in 100m and 200m races

CityPress - - Sport - DANIEL MOTHOWAGAE in Bei­jing dmoth­owage@city­press.co.za

Anaso Jo­bod­wana’s false start in yesterday’s 100m heats was a de­lib­er­ate move. City Press can re­veal that the 23-year-old’s em­bar­rass­ing mo­ment on the IAAF World Cham­pi­onships stage made up for the blun­der by Team SA of­fi­cials by not heed­ing his re­quest to be with­drawn in time ahead of the race that was won by Amer­i­can Tyson Gay.

Sources in the camp told City Press Jo­bod­wana had re­peat­edly asked to be with­drawn dur­ing the team’s meet­ings be­cause his fo­cus was to run in his favourite 200m event. It takes place on Tues­day and the semi­fi­nals are on Thurs­day.

The run­ner con­firmed to City Press on Tues­day that he would not run the dou­ble race at the global cham­pi­onships.

Ath­let­ics SA (ASA) en­tered him for the 100m and 200m, which are a few hours apart. Had the 2012 Olympics fi­nal­ist ad­vanced to the later rounds, it would have proved too much for the US-based sprinter who is just re­cov­er­ing from in­jury.

He had no choice but to show up at the race yesterday as the team man­ual rule 9.7.3 states that fail­ure to par­tic­i­pate with­out a valid rea­son will re­sult in ath­letes be­ing ex­cluded from par­tic­i­pa­tion in all fur­ther events in the com­pe­ti­tion.

This is the sec­ond em­bar­rass­ing in­ci­dent in Team SA’s camp af­ter marathon run­ner Lukas Jani was dropped from the team two days be­fore the 42km event that was held yesterday.

ASA main­tained it was not their fault.

The IAAF in­structed ASA to drop the 25-year-old as South Africa had ex­ceeded the quota of three ath­letes per event, un­less they have a reign­ing world marathon cham­pion who is en­tered as a wild card.

Jani was sup­posed to have been left at home as a re­serve be­cause his time was the slow­est of his three team-mates Desmond Mok­gobu, Sibu­siso Nz­ima and Bene­dict Mo­eng.

The litany of er­rors was fur­ther com­pounded by the team’s bad start on day one of the cham­pi­onships yesterday.

But 100m sprint­ers Akani Sim­bine, Hen­ri­cho Bru­in­tjies and hur­dler LJ van Zyl brought back the smile to the na­tion with solid per­for­mances.

The trio blitzed into the semi­fi­nals of their re­spec­tive events to­mor­row be­tween 12pm and 1pm South African time.

Sim­bine came third in a race that was won by Ja­maican Asafa Pow­ell (9.95) for an au­to­matic berth in the semis while Bru­in­tjies emerged third in the heat that was clinched by Amer­i­can Justin Gatlin in 9.83 sec­onds.

“I will give it my all to reach the fi­nal. This was my worst race this year be­cause I hes­i­tated in the be­gin­ning and had to make up in the last 30m to 50m,” said Sim­bine.

He fin­ished third in 10.09 in a heat that was clinched by Pow­ell in 9.95 sec­onds.

Bru­in­tjies clocked 10.07 in his heat, his third-fastest time of the sea­son.

“It was re­ally tough to be com­posed. It was my first time rac­ing against Gatlin, but I didn’t fo­cus too much on him. My body was ner­vous but my mind was fo­cused.

“If I can come closer to my per­sonal best time [9.970 in the semi­fi­nals], then I will make the fi­nal – I’ll give it my all.”

Van Zyl’s qual­i­fi­ca­tion was the first time since 2011 that he had gone past the first round in a ma­jor com­pe­ti­tion.

“I made sure I had enough power left for the fi­nal 50m. To­mor­row is go­ing to be a dif­fer­ent race,” he said af­ter the race.

Team leader Pi­eter Lourens ini­tially re­fused to com­ment, but he then told City Press “it is not ASA to be blamed”.

“With­drawal should have been made prior to com­ing here. It is only the prin­ci­ple that we ap­ply,” he said from the team’s ho­tel last night.

How­ever, City Press sources con­tra­dicted this say­ing that the ath­lete had raised his re­quest in team meet­ings well in ad­vance of yesterday’s race.

PHOTO: ROGER SE­DRES / GALLO IM­AGES

OOPS! Anaso Jo­bod­wana walks off the track af­ter be­ing dis­qual­i­fied for his false start in the men’s 100m heat at the IAAF World Cham­pi­onships yesterday

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