EASTERN Cape sprint sensation Anaso Jobodwana scored a historic double for South Africa last night when he motored to victory in the 200m at the World Student Games in Kazan, Russia.
It was an early birthday present for the former Selborne College pupil, who had already won the 100m crown on Monday.
The last sprint double was achieved at the 1975 Games in Rome by Italy’s Pietro Mennea.
Jobodwana, who competed in the Olympic 200m final alongside Usain Bolt in London last year, turns 21 at the end of the month.
In the 200m yesterday, he came out of the bend slightly ahead of defending champion Rasheed Dwyer of Jamaica – then left his rivals in his dust.
He crossed the line in 20 seconds flat but was denied the South African record because of a tailwind exceeding the legal two metres per second limit, at +2.4 m/s.
It was bad luck considering it had been 1.6m/s in the women’s 200m final just 15 minutes earlier.
Dwyer was a distant second in 20.23 and Shota Iizuka of Japan third in 20.33.
It is just a matter of time before Jobodwana surpasses the national 20.11 mark held by Morne Nagel since 2002.
Born in Phakamisa, King William’s Town, Jobodwana finished primary school at Dale Junior then moved across to Selborne College in East London. He started competing competitively in athletics in Grade 11.
Selborne College athletics coach Chris Sandford said earlier this year the speedster was always destined for greater heights.
Jobodwana was among the athletes nearly forced to sit out this multisport event because of a spat between the South African Olympic Committee and Athletics South Africa. While the administrative fight continues, South Africa’s athletes battle for glory.
Robert Oosthuizen took the silver medal in the men’s javelin with his first throw of the final, an effort that flew 81.63m.
South Africa finished the day with eight medals, four of them gold. Six of them have come in track and field.
PC Beneke, one of South Africa’s three 400m hurdlers headed for the world championships in Moscow next month, will be bitterly disappointed with his showing in the final. One of the favourites, he never recovered after hitting the first hurdle and ended eighth in 50.51sec.
Tonight, South Africa’s women’s soccer team, featuring several Banyana Banyana players, take on Japan in the quarterfinals.