Anaso Jobodwana takes part in what is arguably his toughest 200m race on South African soil when he competes in the first Athletix Grand Prix Series meeting at Ruimsig, on the West Rand, Gauteng, on March 1.
On paper Jobodwana‚ the 2015 world championship bronze medallist‚ should be the favourite, with his 19.87sec personal best.
But with him still battling to be in top form again – after a serious injury more than two years ago – Jobodwana could have a battle on his hands.
His biggest threat is likely to be Tuks age-group star Clarence Munyai‚ the world U20 300m recordholder, who boasts a 200m best time of 20.10.
Justin Walker, of the US, and his training partner, Trentavis Friday‚ will also be in action, as well as South African world U18 200m champion Retshidisitswe Mlenga.
Their best times – Walker’s 20.26‚ Friday’s 20.33 and Mlenga’s 20.96 – suggests Jobodwana could be pressed to run his fastest race since his podium spot at the championship in Beijing, in 2015.
His fastest 200m time last year was 20.62 – not counting a wind-assisted 20.10 he ran in November.
In Jobodwana’s only race in 2016‚ in the heats of the Rio Olympics‚ he went a disappointing 20.53. Munyai‚ who turns 20 on Tuesday‚ is hungry. “I’m looking forward to the meeting,” he said. “I love racing against Anaso and Retshidisitswe.
“To have the added incentive of racing against the Americans in front of a home crowd is a big deal – we get to show South Africans that we are mixing it up with the world,” Munyai said.
The three-meeting Athletix Grand Prix Series moves to the Tuks track in Pretoria on March 8, and finishes in Paarl on March 22. – TimesLIVE