Sigh of re­lief on Jo­bod­wana’s Bei­jing bronze

CityPress - - News - DANIEL MOTHOWAGAE dmoth­owa­gae@city­

Anaso Jo­bod­wana may have held the South African flag the wrong way when he ran around the track af­ter win­ning a bronze medal in the 200m on Thurs­day.

But his third-place fin­ish brought ec­stasy to Team SA, which had watched nine events go by with­out a sin­gle medal in the first five days of the IAAF World Cham­pi­onships.

From the marathon’s dis­as­trous run on day one, to all three long-jumpers bit­ing the dust in the run­way sand­pits, it seemed a long time be­fore Jo­bod­wana fol­lowed 400m gold-medal win­ner Wayde van Niek­erk’s first gong on Wed­nes­day.

Jo­bod­wana’s dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion in the 100m last Satur­day put the team’s man­age­ment on the spot for not with­draw­ing him to fo­cus on the 200m dash. His false start turned out to be de­lib­er­ate in the end.

There was more anx­i­ety to come. Khotso Mokoena failed to go be­yond the first round of the long jump on Mon­day. For five days, the small group of South Africans had trekked to the Bird’s Nest sta­dium and re­turned to their ho­tel with the na­tional flag still folded.

Then Van Niek­erk and Jo­bod­wana stepped in. Sounds of Shosholoza could be heard from the stands and the na­tional an­them was sung twice in 24 hours.

It was the best way to ease the pain of Caster Se­menya fin­ish­ing last in the 800m semi­fi­nals.

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