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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

Jobodwana to use KZNA Championship to test his fitness

South African sprinter Anaso Jobodwana is aiming to use this weekend's KwaZulu-Natal Athletics (KZNA) track and field Championships to assess his fitness in the build-up to next month's SA Senior Track and Field Championships. Jobodwana who has now moved back to the United States where he lives in Phoenix, Arizona, aims to compete in both 100m and 200m events on Saturday. Speaking to #TheTopTunner on Tuesday while training at Kings Park Stadium in Durban where he is on holiday, he says the race will be a good gauge of his fitness because he last competed during the 2019 World Championship in Doha.

Jobodwana during better days. On this occasion in March 2018 he defeated Olympic and World Champion Justin Gatlin over 150m at the Tuks Stadium in Pretoria. Photo Credit: Roger Sedres.

"If I'm able to register then I'm going to run 100m and 200m," Jobodwana explained. "I'm training well and we just started to do a lot of speed work, working on my mechanics. So this race, basically, will be my fitness test on how ready I am before nationals which is in 3 weeks after this meet," he said. The 28-year-old year old Eastern-Cape born athlete believes Covid19 stole his opportunity to recover his form, as he says he was hitting good times in training before the global pandemic brought a halt to sporting events around the world.

"The last race I was in was the World Championship in 2019. So it's frustrating because last year I was starting to rediscover my form and fitness," said the Nike sponsored athlete. "Right before my first meet, which I was pretty sure I was going to do well because I was hitting numbers in training that I haven't hit before, they canceled everything. And it's frustrating because you lose your gym, track, and your fitness. So after 6 months, you lost everything and you have to start all over again. But you just to have take it as it comes," he reflected.

The former SA 200m record holder (19:87) is not ruling out the possibility of representing the land of his birth at the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics which get underway in July. He thinks reuniting with his coach Stuart MacMillan will edge him closer to his dream. "We have a very good relationship and we communicate well with each other," said the 2015 Beijing World Championship bronze medalist.

"He wants the best from me. And I want to pay him back for the time and the knowledge he is sharing with me. We have grown to understand each other a lot better which is crucial heading up to the Olympics. The results will show in time. I want to get back to the Olympic finals then I can start talking about being a medal contender. So my main thing this year, is to become a contender as I was in the previous years. I want to get that type of mindset, form and in that type of an environment," said the 200m Olympic finalist from London 2012.

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