It was a difficult night for athletics in cold conditions in Stockholm in the latest Diamond League event on Thursday night, and the four South Africans who participated had a tough time too.
Commonwealth Games long jump champion Luvo Manyonga was the highest-profile SA athlete on show, and he was beaten into fourth place on the night.
Manyonga won’t take too much out of the event, as the world championships is only starting in late September.
But it was home-town star Thobias Montler who caused a major upset by beating Manyonga and Olympic champion Jeff Henderson of the USA.
Sweden’s Montler leaped to a personal best of 8.22m, with Juan Echevarria of Cuba also a surprise second in 8.12m.
Henderson had to settle for third with 8.09m, with Manyonga fourth with an 8.07m effort.
The other South African, Zarck Visser, managed a distance of 7.77m for eighth place.
In the men’s 800m, Tshepo Tshite finished seventh in 1:47.98, while Rikenette Steenkamp placed third in the B-race in the woman’s 100m hurdles in 13.21.
Congrats to the elite athletes who represented SA at the @Diamond_League in Stockholm tonight:@lvjumper7 - 4th, long jump (8.07m)— Athletics_SA (@AthleticsSA_) May 30, 2019
Tshepo Tshite - 7th, 800m (1:47.98)@ZarckVisser_LJ - 8th, long jump (7.77m)@Rikenette100mh - 3rd, 100mH B (13.21)#StockholmDL #DiamondLeague
In the women’s 800m, with Caster Semenya barred from competing due to the recent ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, American Ajee Wilson won in 2:00.87.
Britain’s Lynsey Sharp, a staunch critic of Semenya, still ended well down the field in sixth with a time of 2:03.52.
The next Diamond League meeting takes place in Rome on Thursday, 6 June.@ashfakmohamed