SA elite ready for Diamond League in Rome

Akani Simbine (Gallo)
Akani Simbine (Gallo)

Cape Town - A small but strong group of South African athletes will line up in Rome, Italy on Thursday evening, at the fourth stop in the IAAF Diamond League series.

Long jumpers Luvo Manyonga and Ruswahl Samaai, who earned gold and bronze medals respectively at last year's IAAF World Championships and repeated the double at the Commonwealth Games last month, were both among the favourites in the entry list.

They are up against a quality field with challenges expected to come from the likes of 19-year-old world indoor champion Juan Miguel Echevarria of Cuba and Olympic gold medallist Jeff Henderson of the United States.

Sprinter Akani Simbine was also included in the start lists for the Meeting, with the Commonwealth Games champion going into the starting blocks in the Men's 100m race.

He was also among the favourites in a field which was spearheaded by world indoor 60m record holder, Christian Coleman of the USA.

“I’m looking forward to Rome,” said Manyonga. “I aim to up my game and keep to the targets I set myself this year. So, in Rome I need to ace it.”

Schedule of athletes on Thursday (SA times):

20:40 - Long Jump Men, Luvo Manyonga, Ruswahl Samaai

21:35 - 100m Men, Akani Simbine.

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