SA long-jumper Manyonga set to recover quickly from niggle

Luvo Manyonga of South Africa in action during the men's Long Jump event at the athletics IAAF Diamond League meeting at Stockholm Stadium, Stockholm, Sweden on June 18, 2017. Photo: Backpagepix

JOHANNESBURG - Lee-Roy Newton gives the assurance that the long-jumper, Luvo Manyonga, has not injured himself seriously with his last jump at the Stockholm Diamond League Meeting on Sunday.

“At this stage, I will certainly hesitate to use the word injured. I have spoken to him afterwards and although he is in slight pain I am confident that it is nothing serious. However, when he is back at Tuks/HPC he will definitely go for a scan just to make a 100 percent sure. I think we will have all the answers by Wednesday. We certainly don’t want to be taking any chances before the World Championships in London as our main goal for the season is to win a medal, preferably gold,” said Newton who is Manyonga’s agent.

READ: Manyonga wins in Diamond League in Stockholm

The Tuks-athlete’s performance in Stockholm was again near faultless. Apart from his third attempt in which he misjudged his approach he managed to jump eight metres and further each time. As has become the norm this season, Manyonga managed to put the gauntlet down with his very first jump of 8.36m. After his last jump of 8.28m, Manyonga remained seated in the sand pit clutching his ankle in pain.

South Africa’s Rushwal Samaai was the only one who took up the challenge. His second attempt was 8.29m. It was good enough to secure a second-place finish. Raded Juska (Czech Republic) was third with a jump of 8.09m.

The windy conditions certainly did complicate things for the athletes. Coach Neil Cornelius said the wind metre readings during Manyonga’s jumps varied from 3m/s to 0m/s which meant he really had to be focussed with each attempt.

“I honestly think Luvo’s performance in Stockholm is one of his best. He proved that he can keep his cool in difficult conditions and that is comforting because one never knows what might happen during the World Championships,” said Cornelius.

LJ van Zyl who also competed in Stockholm on Sunday was quite disappointed with how his race played out. With two hurdles to go, it looked like he was in contention for a top three finish as he was accelerating with each step. Unfortunately, his race totally unravelled as he was going over the last hurdle. He clipped the hurdle with his leg and immediately lost his rhythm. Van Zyl finished last in 51.42s.

“I am really battling to describe my feelings when thinking back to my race. It started out so well. I could feel I was getting stronger as the race progressed,” said Van Zyl.

“I think I could have dipped under 49 seconds but then just for a moment I had a lapse of concentration and that is when everything went awry. The one positive I can take from the race is that I know I am capable of racing with the best.”

Van Zyl’s next race is on July 6 in Lausanne.

Lindsay Hanekom finished third in the 400m-hurdles over the weekend at a meeting in Pravda. His time was 51.18s. Cornel Fredericks was sixth in 51.26s.

African News Agency

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