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Athletics | SA Track & Field

Luvo Manyonga © Gallo Images

Manyonga is not seriously injured



Lee-Roy Newton gives the assurance that the world’s best 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% 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.

Newton compared what happened in Stockholm to what happened at the South African Championships in Potchefstroom.

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. Challenging his rivals to go big or go home. After his last jump of 8.28m Manyonga remained seated in the sand pit clutching his ankle. He was in obvious 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. Neil Cornelius (coach) said the wind metre readings during Manyonga’s jumps varied from 3m/s to 0m/s which meant he really had to be focused 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.”

According to Cornelius, Manyonga dreamt before the meeting that he was going to execute his jumps to perfection.

“That to me proves in what good mindset Luvo is at the moment.”

LJ van Zyl, who also competed in Stockholm yesterday afternoon, 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, which led to him totally slowing down. 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. 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 6 July 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 6th in 51.26s.



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