ASA shouldn’t have picked Anaso in the first place – coach
Ace sprinter Anaso Jobodwana is officially out of South Africa’s team for the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland, US, next month.
His coach, Stuart McMillan, told City Press this week his charge should not have been included in the team in the first place, as there had been no prior communication between Athletics SA (ASA) and the athlete.
“There have never been any plans for Anaso to run the World Indoors – not sure how the ASA thought otherwise,” said McMillan in an emailed response.
McMillan is the performance director and sprint coach at Altis, the US high-performance training centre that is home to Jobodwana and some of the world’s best track and field athletes.
The ASA have scrapped Jobodwana’s name from the team they announced this week ( see box).
The local athletics controlling body was at pains to try to explain why they had included the 23-year-old US-based runner in the team list it released last month.
ASA president Aleck Skhosana argued that the published list from last week “was not the final team but a squad forwarded by the
IAAF World Indoor Championships – Portland, US (March 17-20)
Henricho Bruintjies (60m) Antonio Alkana (60m hurdles) Ruswahl Samaai (long jump) Zarck Visser (long jump) Willem Coertzen (heptathlon) Shaun de Jager, Ofentse Mogawane, Thapelo Phora, Jon Seeliger, Sonwabiso Skhosana (4x400m) provinces”. But the circular did not say so.
“Anaso is based in the US but his [athletics] province is in South Africa. He was included based on squad performances,” said Skhosana.
He added: “It was good that Anaso was not available for the World Indoors because we encourage our athletes to take it easy so that they don’t have to peak twice in the season.”
This is the second time there has been a communication breakdown between the ASA and Jobodwana.
At the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, in August last year, the ASA entered Jobodwana to compete in the double sprints when the athlete’s focus was on the 200m.
Jobodwana deliberately false-started in the heats of the 100m race to avoid being disqualified from the global meeting, and he went on to win a bronze medal in the 200m.
McMillan said there was no communication between the federation and the athlete prior to the global championships.
“Not with me, or with anyone at Altis,” he said.
McMillan said Jobodwana’s competition schedule this season would depend on how he progressed.
“Race schedules involve a lot more than just picking a place and time – much depends on who is in the race, where it is, how training is going, etc. Racing 100m does not work on speed work – that is what practice is for. The plan was to race more 100m last year also, but it took Anaso a while to get the tactic correct for the 200m, so we ran fewer 100m than originally planned.”
Jobodwana is one of South Africa’s medal hopefuls for the Rio Olympic Games in August.
He is rated among the best sprinters in the world and his training partners in the US include world record holder and reigning 110m hurdle Olympic champion Aries Merritt and the world championship 100m bronze medallist Andre De Grasse, Canada’s latest sprint superstar.
OUT OF THE RECKONING Anaso Jobodwana won’t fly the SA flag at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in the US next month