OSTRAVA – World Championship and Commonwealth Games long jump bronze medalist Ruswahl Samaai cleared the eight metres mark twice on his way to victory, on the opening day of the IAAF Intercontinental Cup held at the Mestsky Stadium in Ostrava, Czech Republic on Saturday.
In the absence of fellow countryman and world champion Luvo Manyonga, the South African took centre stage with efforts of 8.05 and 8.16 metres being too hot for the rest of the competition to handle. Greece's Miltiadis Tentoglou finished second with 8.00.
There was also great jubilation for Team Africa in the men's 800 metres, where Kenyan Emmanuel Karir crossed the finish line first in 1:46.50 to top off a super year for him, having clocked the fastest of 2018 in 1:42.02 at the Diamond League meeting in London on July 22.
Rio Olympic bronze medalist Matt Hughes in the colours of the Americas was second in 1.46.77 courtesy of a photo-finish to edge in ahead of Botswana's Nijel Amos.
Only a brave man would have bet on a Kenyan failing to win the 3000 metres steeplechase, and true to form, world and Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto took line honours in 8:22.55 to bring more joy to the African camp. The Kenyan was followed home by Canadian Matt Hughes in 8:29.70.
“My competition wasn’t so good, but the most important was to win for the team and to get the points for #TeamAfrica,” says long jump winner @RuswahlSamaai
Report: https://t.co/7dvnPSYUYE pic.twitter.com/GqX6rzH8GW
Earlier in the day's action, Olympic, Commonwealth and world 800 metres champion Caster Semenya showed her speed over the one-lapper as she finished second in the 400 metres in a new SA record time of 49.62.
Semenya held the previous national best of 49.96 which she set at the African Championships in Nigeria in July this year.
The Limpopo province athlete showed immense speed for a middle distance athlete but had to settle for second place behind Burundi's Salwa Eid Naser (49.32).
Kenyan Winny Chebet claimed the 1500 metres women's title in 4:16.01, just holding off American Shelby Houlihan (4:16.36).
The second and final day of intercontinental action will take place on Sunday with the Americas leading the points table after Day 01 on 135, followed by Europe (123), Asia-Pacific (89) and Africa (74).
African News Agency (ANA)