Treble podium finish for SA trio in Shanghai

Akani Simbine (Getty Images)
Akani Simbine (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Three South African athletes achieved podium places in Shanghai, China on Saturday as the international season gained momentum at the second of 14 legs of the IAAF Diamond League series.

Sprinter Akani Simbine finished third in the men's 100m race, stopping the clock at 9.95 seconds, with American athlete Noah Lyles charging to victory in 9.86. Simbine was just 0.06 outside his own national record when he clocked an impressive season's best.

Fellow sprinter, Clarence Munyai was also in good form in the men's 200m race. Looking good off the bend, Munyai held on down the home straight to take third spot in a season's best of 20.37. Commonwealth Games silver medallist Aaron Brown of Canada won the half-lap race in 20.07.

In the men's long jump, Ruswahl Samaai also finished third with a best leap of 8.14m, while countryman Zarck Visser ended sixth with a 7.90m effort.

Though he had been among the favourites in the entry lists, long jump world and Olympic champion, Luvo Manyonga, withdrew ahead of the meeting.

Olympic silver medallist Sunette Viljoen settled for eighth position with a 57.56m throw in the opening round of the women's Javelin, while Antonio Alkana was also eighth in the men's 110m Hurdles race in 13.47.

The third leg of the series will be held in Stockholm, Sweden on May, 30.

"We applaud all podium finishers. These are still early days in the Diamond League, but we are encouraged that all athletes will improve their performances as their confidence increases. Participation in the Diamond League is what all our elite athletes must aspire to achieve and that can only come with high performance to elicit invitations," said ASA president, Aleck Skhosana.

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