ROME – Luvo Manyonga once again flew the flag for South Africa at the Rome leg of the IAAF Diamond League in Italy on Thursday.
Manyonga was one of just three South Africans in action, the others being fellow long jumper Ruswahl Samaai and sprinter Akani Simbine.
Both Manyonga and Samaai ended on the podium with Manyonga once again laying down the marker with a world-leading performance.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games champion soared to a best-on-the-night 8.58 metre leap.
That was good enough to give him a 5cm victory margin over the up-and-coming teenager Juan Miguel Echevarria of Cuba, whose 8.53m was a personal best.
He had opened his evening with a 7.93m effort and the winning leap came in his very next next attempt.
Samaai, a bronze medallist at both the 2014 and 2018 Games, rounded off the podium with 8.34m being his best distance of the night.
There would not be a podium finish for the third South African, though, as Simbine could only manage fifth place in the men’s 100m.
Like Manyonga, a defending Commonwealth Games champion, Simbine failed to power on in the final third of the race and had to settle for a time of 10.13 seconds, a full 0.10sec off his winning time in Australia last month.
American Ronny Baker claimed the win, his 9.93 a world lead and personal best. France’s Jimmy Vicaut was runner-up in 10.02 with young Italian Filippo Tortu third in 10.04.
African News Agency (ANA)