Luvo Manyonga goes through the sand during the Rome Diamond League on Thursday night. Photo: Tony Gentile/Reuters

Luvo Manyonga leapt to his fourth best distance to win a tit-for-tat battle against Cuban prodigy Juan Miguel Echevarria at the Rome Diamond League on Thursday night.

The rivalry between Manyonga and Echevarria has the potential to become one of the great ones in the sport as they push each other towards higher levels.

World champion Manyonga leapt to victory with a world lead of 8.58m. 

Echevarria laid down the gauntlet with a second-round leap of 8.53m, launching him to the top of the pile for a brief moment.

Manyonga responded with interest, landing his winning jump on a night littered with no jumps in the sandpit.

Manyonga opened with a 7.93m jump, and rounded off his performance with an 8.41m.

Fellow South African Ruswahl Samaai also stepped on to the podium courtesy of a best jump of 8.34m. 

South African 100m record-holder Akani Simbine had an off night on the track, finishing fifth with his slowest time of the season, clocking 10.13 seconds.

Form man Ronnie Baker of the United States produced another world lead to take the spoils with a time of 9.93.

He was followed by Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut in 10.02, with Italian Filipo Tortu bagging the bronze in 10.04.


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