National record holders Anaso Jobodwana and Elroy Gelant were the star performers in the first of the ASA Speed Series track and field meetings in Durban on Tuesday evening.

Both athletes competed in strong winds before taking comfortable victories at the first of the four legs in the series.


Jobodwana chased down early leader Emile Erasmus (see picture above), who got off to a great start, and went on to take the men’s 100-metre race in 10.21 seconds with a +3.9m/s tailwind pushing him to the line.

Erasmus, fresh off his 60m campaign on the European indoor circuit, took second position in 10.28.

‘My block start is still whack, but I should get some time to work on it before my next race,’ Jobodwana said. ‘I’ll go back to the drawing board to work on a few things again.’

In the men’s 10 000m Gelant (pictured below) started well with the assistance of two pace-setters, but he faded in the second half in tough conditions.

He still held on to secure the win in 28:16.54, with Namakoe Nkhasi of Lesotho finishing second in 28:32.55.
‘I’m a little tired, because I’m still busy with my endurance training and I did 200km last week,’ Gelant said. ‘While I was running I just thought about my recent training camp in Kenya and zoomed in mentally as if those guys were next to me. But it’s still early in the season and I just wanted to see where I was in my preparation.’

Gelant hopes to be included in the SA men’s team for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala next month, with the Speed Series meeting acting as the final trials for the national squad.

Earlier, national cross country champion Kesa Molotsane reeled in marathon runner Irvette van Zyl, who had stormed into a commanding lead and burst clear to win the women’s 5 000m race in 16:08.21.

Van Zyl (pictured with Molotsane above) managed to hold off a late challenge from Louisa Leballo who took second spot in 16:20.06.

Jobodwana’s spouse, Taylor Monae Jobodwana of the United States, charged to victory in the women’s 200m dash in 24.53.

Ashley Hlungwani won the men’s 400m race in 46.80, while World Student Games 400m champion Justine Palframan took the women’s one-lap event in 54.13.

The second of four legs in the ASA Speed Series will be held in Bloemfontein next week.

– See more at: