Report08 Mar 2017

Manyonga leaps African all-comers’ record in Bloemfontein


Luvo Manyonga wins the long jump in Bloemfontein (© Roger Sedres)

Olympic long jump silver medallist Luvo Manyonga opened his 2017 season in style on Wednesday evening (8), launching a world-leading 8.46m leap at the ASA Speed Series meeting in Bloemfontein.

Manyonga displayed fine early-season form to add eight centimetres to the African all-comers’ record, narrowly missing out on his personal best of 8.48m, as well as Khotso Mokoena's South African record of 8.50m.

While his last leap of the meeting was measured at 8.72m, he was shown a red flag after stepping over the board.

“I’ve been working really hard to fix a few things from last year, especially my landing, and it seems to have worked,” Manyonga said.

Earlier in the evening, world U20 200m silver medallist Gift Leotlela earned a stunning victory in the men's 100m sprint, outclassing Olympic 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk.

Due to a technical fault with the timing system, electronic results were not recorded, and Leotlela was given a hand-timed result of 10.0.

Van Niekerk was 0.10 off the pace, and he was given the same time as Emile Erasmus in third place.

In another highlight of the meeting, Ruan de Vries set a national record of 13.23 to win the men's 110m hurdles, chopping 0.36 off his previous career best set in Potchefstroom in 2013.

He bettered the former record of 13.24 held by 2012 Olympic finalist Lehann Fourie.

Despite concerns with the electronic timing system, Athletics South Africa said all results would remain official unless the federation felt there was reason to consider otherwise.

“We can’t discredit the athletes until we know whether there was an issue with the times,” said ASA president Aleck Skhosana.

Wesley Botton for the IAAF

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