Ruswahl Samaai always wants to be the best in his field. Photo: Roger Sedres

JOHANNESBURG – World bronze medallist Ruswahl Samaai is driven by his desire to be the best long jumper in the world, even though he admits he’s not always a fan of his chosen sport.

Samaai, who defended his African long jump title earlier this year and went on to win at the IAAF Continental Cup in Ostrava 2018, explained why long jump is such a difficult and punishing discipline.

“I actually hate the technical part of jumping,” said Samaai.

“It’s a lot for the body to take.

“But there are also lots of things I enjoy about being a long jumper.

“Also, while long jump doesn’t get a lot of exposure, with the bit of exposure that we do get, we try to inspire the next generation.

“For me, that’s one of the biggest driving forces. 

"I try to be a role model for up-and-coming athletes.”

But Samaai always has his aims and objectives at the forefront of his mind. 

He never strays from his goals because they serve as a key source of motivation.

“I’m motivated by my goals, wanting to be the No 1 in the world, wanting to stand on the Olympic podium as the gold medallist, and wanting to stand on the World Championships podium as the gold medallist. 

"That’s what drives me.

“I also love competing. 

"I’m obsessed with competition because it brings out the best in me.

"Competing against the likes of Juan Miguel Echevarria, Luvo Manyonga and Jeff Henderson – whenever I see these guys, it brings out a beast from inside of me that just loves to compete against the best in the world.”

Overall, though, for Samaai, everything is about hard work.

“I’m always trying to be a better athlete and a better version of myself,” he said. 

African News Agency (ANA)