Athletics 1.3.2018 09:52 pm

Anaso Jobodwana on fire in first Athletix Grand Prix meet

Anaso Jobodwana is congratulated by Clarence Munyai after an excellent run. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Anaso Jobodwana is congratulated by Clarence Munyai after an excellent run. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

The sprinter is well and truly back on the comeback trail after a cracking performance in Roodepoort … and he’s not even at his best yet.

Though he admitted he still needed to sharpen up ahead of the international season, resurgent sprinter Anaso Jobodwana was satisfied with his result on Thursday night after delivering the standout performance at the Liquid Telecom Athletix Grand Prix meeting in Roodepoort.

Glaring sideways at compatriot Clarence Munyai, with the duo continuing their friendly rivalry in the early stages of the season, Jobodwana coasted across the line in 20.13 seconds, cheekily wagging his finger at his younger opponent.

It was Jobodwana’s fastest time since he clocked 19.87 to grab the bronze medal at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, with the lanky speedster taking another step forward on the comeback trail after recovering from injuries.

Outclassing a quality line-up, he finished 0.05 ahead of 20-year-old Munyai, who produced another nifty performance in the build-up to the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast next month, where he was set to join Jobodwana in a strong national 4x100m relay team.

“This is not the best of me,” Jobodwana said.

“It’s my first really competitive 200m of the season, and I think I could have been a little better, but with this time I really can’t complain about what I did today.

“I just told myself to execute as best I could, and that’s what I did.”

Powerhouse sprinter Isaac Makwala of Botswana, who reached the final at last year’s World Championships in London, settled for fifth place in the half-lap dash in 20.89, but he was running on tired legs after winning the 400m race in 45.03 earlier in the evening.

In other events, David Greene of Great Britain dominated the men’s 400m hurdles race, crossing the line in 49.38 to hold off SA record holder LJ van Zyl by 0.26, with the top four men all dipping under 50 seconds.

In the men’s 1 500m battle, world youth champion George Manangoi of Kenya launched a late drive down the home straight, with the teenager stunning his senior opponents to win in 3:40.62.

Former world champion Amantle Montsho of Botswana stormed to a convincing victory in the women’s 400m contest, surging across the line in 50.66, and Halimah Nakaayi of Uganda launched a spectacular kick in the finishing straight to beat fancied compatriot Winnie Nanyondo in 2:01.44.

In the men’s high jump, Mpho Links capitalised on his experience to take the win, clearing 2.20m, with diminutive youth prodigy Breyton Poole settling for second position (2.15m).

The second of three legs in the inaugural Grand Prix track and field series will be held in Pretoria next Thursday.

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