Jobodwana blasts into 100m semi-finals in Moscow | SASCOC - SASCOC
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Jobodwana blasts into 100m semi-finals in Moscow

South Africa’s star performer on the opening day of the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Anaso Jobodwana, said he was happy with his second place finish in his 100m heat on Saturday.

“I totally forgot I was running in lane nine,” Jobodwana said after running in the same heat as world record holder Usain Bolt, reports Sapa.

“I was focusing on the guy next to me, which is not good, but at least I picked it up and made it through to the next round.”

The 20-year-old finished second, behind Bolt, in the final race of the day in 10.17 seconds, only a tenth of a second adrift.

“I’ve cut the first 10 metres from eight to seven steps and am getting greater velocity from the blocks. Although it was a slow start, I stayed in my drive phase a bit longer so when I got up I could feel that I was moving but not really pushing for it. I will be pushing in the semi-final.”

Jobodwana was 16th overall and automatically qualified as a top three finisher in a heat for the semi-finals on Sunday morning.

Compatriot Akani Simbine missed out, having run seventh in 10.38 in the third heat.

Meanwhile, Willem Coertzen finished the first day of the decathlon competition winning his 400m race in a new personal best time of 48.32 seconds.

“It all went well today and I’m about 200 points ahead for a PB on day one,” said Coertzen after the completion of five decathlon events.

“The pole vault is the one I need to focus on tomorrow. If that goes correctly, I should get over the 8200 mark which normally makes the top eight.”

Coertzen, 30, would be chasing down his SA record of 8244 points and was 245 points adrift from Ashton Eaton, the competition leader on 4502 points.

In the distance events on the track, Stephen Mokoka finished 20th in the men’s 10 000m which was won by Britain’s Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah in 27:21.71.

Over the first 2000m, Mokoka found himself in good company towards the rear of field with Farah strategically staying off the early pace.

Mokoka maintained a disciplined approach throughout which kept him in touch to 8000m. “My pacing was good at 66 seconds (per lap) for most of the race, but they pulled away at 8km and it made it difficult to run on my own for the last five laps,” said the Gauteng North athlete who clocked 28:11.61.

“My intention is to focus on the 10,000m until I can get it down to 27:20-27:30, although I will continue to run one marathon a year.”

Forty-year-old Chris Harmse failed to make it through the hammer qualification, having only one eligible mark of 71.42m on his first throw.

Andre Olivier, considered a possible medal contender, was a late withdrawal from the first rounds of the 800m with a foot injury.

Lynique Prinsloo leapt 6.17m, well short of her 6.81m at the national championships, and failed to make the long jump final.

The heat and humidity saw Tanith Maxwell’s attempts at breaking two hours 30 minutes for the marathon shattered as she ended up taking 42nd place in 2:56.37.

Lebogan Shange takes on the 20km walk at 3pm (SA time) on Sunday.

Promising youngster Wayde van Niekerk failed to make it out of the first round of 400m heats on Sunday morning, as he ended fifth in heat six with a time of 46.47 as Granada’s Kirani James won in 45 seconds flat.

That saw Van Niekerk two places outside the 24 athletes who went through to the semi-finals.