Manyonga emulated Carl Lewis by winning in Hengelo

Luvo Manyonga won the long jump at the Fanny Blankers Koen Games in Hengelo the past weekend. Photo: Reg Caldecott

By winning the men’s long jump this past weekend at the Fanny Blankers Koen Games in Hengelo, Luvo Manyonga emulated the performances of Carl Lewis one of the legends of international athletics.

The Tuks-athlete won by jumping 8.62cm, which is just three centimetres short of his South African record. More importantly is the fact that it was the fourth time this season that Manyonga won by jumping 8.60m and further. Lewis was the last athlete to do so. He did so in 1987. However, in his fourth competition, the American was aided by a wind from behind.

“Luvo’s is so far averaging 8.59m when competing,” said a proud Neil Cornelius who coaches him at Tuks.

Manyonga opened his account in Hengelo by jumping 8.60m followed by a no jump, 8.40m, 8.46m, another foul and lastly 8.62m.

Cornelius ascribes the slight “relapse” in the middle of his series to the fact that Manyonga flourishes under pressure.

“The reason why he managed to jump 8.62m with his last attempt was that the other athletes were upping their act starting to jump further which motivated him. I have no doubt that Luvo is capable of jumping much further. It is a case of the better his rivals perform the better he will do. That really big jump is definitely going to happen,” said Cornelius.

South Africa’s Rushwal Samaai finished second jumping 8.34m with Jamaica’s Damar Forbes third with a jump 8.29. Zarck Visser (SA) was sixth jumping 7.88m.

Manyonga’s next competition is the coming Sunday when he will be competing at the Diamond League Meeting in Stockholm.

* Another local star, Carina Horn from Tuks, finished third in the 100 metres in Hengelo, clocking a time of 11.35s. Dafne Schippers (The Netherlands) won in 11.08s with Blessing Okagbare (Nigeria) third in 11.16s. The athletes were challenged by a headwind.

Akani Simbine (Tuks) finished second in his 100m race. Yohan Blake (Jamaica) won in 9.97s with Simbine clocking 10.0s.

* Wayde van Niekerk set a new South African record in the 200m on Saturday when he won in 19.84s at the JN Racers Grand Prix Meeting in Kingston, Jamaica.

* Emile Erasmus (Tuks) won the 100m at the Lathi Games in Finland in a time of 10.35s racing against a -1.4m/s headwind while the temperature soared to only 13 degree Celsius. According to Erasmus he had a bad start.

“The best part of my race was the middle phases, unfortunately, I was not able to retain my top speed to the end it could because I arrived really late in Finland,” said Erasmus afterwards.

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