South Africa is still going to dominate the men’s long jump for years to come and the healthy rivalry of world champion Luvo Manyonga and current continental champion Ruswahl Samaai is benefiting the country.
Last year, Manyonga leapt to 8,65m at the Athletics South Africa national championships and successfully defended his national title this year with a distance of 8,65m.
He finished ahead of Samaai in an event he’s dominated for the past two years both here at home and globally.
But on the international stage they form a dangerous tag team and that’s what matters to Manyonga.
At the IAAF World Champs in London two years ago, Manyonga took gold and Samaai came back with a bronze medal. Manyonga says to ensure that SA continues with this domination they need to ensure that they support the next generation.
Like many international athletes, Manyonga starts his European season next month as he looks forward to the IAAF World Championships where he will be defending his world title in Doha, Qatar in September.
But his overall target is the Olympic games in Tokyo, Japan next year where he’s got a score to settle.
Manyonga has admitted that last year he was a little bit distracted by the Cuban rising star Juan Miguel Echevarria who beat him during the Diamond League meet in Stockholm in Sweden.
But this year he’s vowed to focus on himself and also doesn’t even want to to talk about the 9m target. – Report by Velile Mnyandu
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