ASA shouldn’t have picked Anaso in the first place – coach

CityPress - - Sport - DANIEL MOTHOWAGAE dmoth­owa­gae@city­press.co.za

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.

PHOTO: CHRIS­TIAN PETERSEN / GETTY IM­AGES

OUT OF THE RECK­ON­ING Anaso Jo­bod­wana won’t fly the SA flag at the IAAF World In­door Cham­pi­onships in the US next month

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