THERE were doubts that he would make the trip to the Olympic Games due to a long-term injury.
But World Championships bronze medallist Anaso Jobodwana is here and eager to make a big statement at the Rio showpiece.
He has worked tirelessly to ensure he recovered in time to make the Team SA squad announced by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) for the Games last month.
Jobodwana, who is based in the United States of America, is a senior member of the sprinting department these days.
The 100m sprint ace will give debutants Akani Simbine, Clarence Munyai and Gift Leotlela, who are looking forward to competing at their first Olympic Games, much-needed advice as they battle their nerves in front of a packed, 80 000-seater Olympic Stadium when the track and field events start tomorrow.
Jobodwana, who is seen as a potential medal contender alongside Wayde van Niekerk, Caster Semenya and Rushwal Samaai, said: “I have been communicating with the doctors about my injury and mentally I am ready. I am excited to be running – and can finally relax knowing I’ve made the team.”
Jobodwana was part of the 2012 London Games squad and is happy to be part again now: “I was young and scared in 2012 but now I’m more experienced and ready. I’m trying my best not to get carried away.”
Jobodwana has been working hard in training to make sure he is in top condition to take on the likes of world superstar Usain Bolt.
He said: “I think I’m confident enough to come out and run a good race. If I fail, it’s still part of a learning curve and it won’t be a train smash.”
He says the fact that he has emerged fit and strong after one of the toughest years he has ever experienced speaks volumes: “I’m not scared of anything. That has really helped a lot in my recovery.”