The 200m Men promises to be one of the highlights of the first Liquid Telecom Athletix Grand Prix Series Meeting in Ruimsig on Thursday, 01 March 2018.
With World Championships medallists, a world record holder and an international contingent of athletes, this is one event not to miss.
Anaso Jobodwana. The always smiling face and easy going nature hides a deep commitment and hard-working ethic of an athlete who has been both on top of the world and has had to claw his way back to form after injury. Jobodwana announced his presence on the global stage in 2012 when he got to the Olympic 200m. A year later he finished 6th in the 200m final at the World Championships. In 2015 he won the Bronze medal at the World Championships setting a then SA Record of 19.87sec (the record has subsequently been lowered to 19.84sec by Wayde van Niekerk). A World University champion in the 100m and 200m in 2013, Jobodwana has battled with injury since 2016 but is now injury-free and in full training. His pedigree is such, that you write him off at your peril and the Athletix Grand Prix Meeting could be just the tonic to boost him back to the top in the 200m. He ran a Personal Best (albeit wind assisted) of 10.07sec at the Gauteng North Athletics Championships on Saturday 24 February.
Clarence Munyai. He is a precocious talent and loves to take on the big guns – and he is in ominous form after running a new Personal Best in the 100m at the AGN Provincial Championships on Saturday 24 February, clocking 10.10sec. Often involved in online banter on social media with the likes of Akani Simbine and Wayde van Niekerk, Munyai has backed up his “talk” with some scintillating performances. He is the Africa Junior champion, winning the title in 2017 with a time of 20.22sec, holds the SA Junior record in the 200m with a time of 20.10sec, and more importantly holds the World Junior record in the 300m, clocking 31.61sec which ranks him 9th on the All-Time list.
Retshidisitswe Mlenga. The 17-year-old shot to prominence in 2017 when he won the World U18 200m title and the silver medal in the 100m. Mlenga will be using this race for valuable experience as he lines up with some big names on the global stage of athletics. He has a best of 10.37sec for the 100m and 20.96sec for the 200m. In this field he could well reduce those times dramatically. Mlenga opened 2018 with a 10.53sec 100m on 19 February.
Justin Walker. He is a 27-year-old American who boasts a best of 10.05sec in the 100m (2016) which indicates he should be a faster 200m runner than the 20.26sec that is currently his Personal Best. With athletes along the likes of Munyai, Jobodwana and Isaac Makwala in the field, he could well threaten that time.
Trentavis Friday. He is the 2014 World Junior champion in the 200m, his preferred distance. A recent addition to the Justin Gatlin training group, Friday feels he is on the verge of a big breakthrough now that he is adapting to the training of his coach. Friday also picked up a gold medal in the 4x100m relay at the World U20 Championships in 2014 and boasts a 100m best of 10sec dead, which, just as his team mate, Justin Walker, equates to a faster 200m best than his current 20.33sec. Friday is, like Jobodwana, a strong bend runner and does tend to be able to come through strongly in the final stages of the 200m which could well be a telling factor on race day.
Isaac Makwala. The flamboyant Botswana record holder in the 100m, 200m, 300m and 400m, is one of the most talented athletes on the circuit with bests of 10.20sec, 19.77sec, 31.44sec and 43.72sec respectively. He showed his strength and big match temperament when he needed to run the 200m solo to qualify for the final of the World Championships in 2017. His 31.44sec 300m time is 5th on the world All-Time Rankings, his 19.77sec 200m is 15th on the World All-Time list. Makwala has to line up as one of the big favourites on race day.
Luxolo Adams. The 21-year-old is a dangerous protagonist. While he is probably the most inexperienced athlete in the line-up, Adams clocked a 20.51sec 200m against 5.1m/s headwind which indicates that in the right race he could well run a fair bit faster than the 20.51sec. In 2015 Adams won both the 200m and 400m National U20 titles. Predominantly a 400m runner, Adams seemed to have made the shift to focus on the 200m in 2017 where he competed in 7 races, the highlight being his 20.51sec PB and his silver medal in Harare, Zimbabwe at the Southern Region Championships in June.
Curtis Mitchell. He is the 2013 200m World Championship Bronze medallist and is currently being coached by none other than Ansa (Tannie Ans) Botha who coaches the 400m World and Olympic champion, Wayde van Niekerk. Mitchell joined Botha in November 2017. The 28-year-old has a best of 19.97sec in the 200m, run in 2013 and went under 20sec three times that year. His PB came at the World Championships in Moscow in 2013. Mitchell raced sparingly in 2017, mainly focusing on the indoor circuit, so this race will be an intriguing opener for the American.
EVENT INFORMATION: Liquid Telecom Athletix Grand Prix Series
Dates and Venues:
|Thursday, 01 March 2018||Ruimsig Stadium, Johannesburg|
|Thursday, 08 March 2018||Tuks Stadium, Tshwane|
|Thursday, 22 March 2018||Dal Josaphat Stadium, Paarl|
Main Pavilion Tickets
|Standard Ticket:||R 100 each|
|Children under 16 years of age:||R 50 each|
Open Stand/Grass Banks
|Standard Ticket:||R 50 each|
|Children under 16 years of age:||R 50 each|
ONLINE TICKET SALES are open and can be purchased via www.webtickets.co.za
Tickets can also be purchased at the gate of each event.
Visit the event’s Facebook page for daily announcements!
ABOUT LIQUID TELECOM
Liquid Telecom is a leading communications services and solutions provider across 13 countries in Eastern, central and Southern Africa that serves carrier, enterprise and retail customers with high-speed, reliable connectivity and digital services.
It has built Africa’s largest independent fibre network, spanning over 50,000km, and operates state-of-the-art data centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Nairobi, with a combined 6,800 square meters of rack space.
This is in addition to leading cloud-based services, such as Microsoft Office365 and Microsoft Azure, and innovative digital content provision, including Netflix, NBA, TED and Kwese Play.
Through this combined offering, Liquid Telecom is enhancing customers’ experience on their digital journey.
About Athletics South Africa:
Athletics South Africa (ASA) is the national governing body for the sport of athletics (including track and field, cross country, road running and racewalking) in South Africa, recognised by the IAAF, and also a member of Confederation of African Athletics. The association is based in Johannesburg.