Athletics

Manyonga leads SA at Shanghai Diamond League

Luvo Manyonga (Getty Images)
Luvo Manyonga (Getty Images)

Cape Town - A total of seven South African athletes are in the entry lists for the second leg of the 2019 IAAF Diamond League series to be held in Shanghai, China on Saturday.

Three men, who have displayed solid early season form on the domestic circuit, will line up in the long jump contest.

World champion Luvo Manyonga, African champion Ruswahl Samaai and resurgent athlete Zarck Visser, will turn out against a field which features the likes of European champion Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece and former Asian champion Wang Jianan of China.

Also looking to gain momentum on the international circuit after winning her 13th national title at the recent ASA Senior Track and Field and Combined Events Championships in Germiston, Sunette Viljoen is in for a battle in the women's Javelin.

The Olympic silver medallist is up against in-form Chinese athlete Lyu Huihui, who boasts a season's best of 67.72m and former European champion, Tatsiana Khaladovich of Belarus.

On the track, Akani Simbine will turn out for his first 100m race of the year in what is expected to be a thrilling battle.

The Commonwealth Games champion will enter the blocks alongside a powerful trio of American sprinters including Michael Rodgers, Noah Lyles and Christian Coleman - who holds the world indoor 60m record.

In the men's 110m hurdles event, SA record holder Antonio Alkana will be eager to build on his campaign after clocking a solid season's best of 13.38 on the domestic circuit.

Looking to go quicker against a quality field, he will face Olympic champion Omar McLeod of Jamaica, former world champion Sergey Shubenkov of Russia (competing as a neutral athlete) and Orlando Ortega of Spain, who have all dipped under 13 seconds in their careers.

Though it is not an official IAAF Diamond League race, national record holder Clarence Munyai will also make an appearance in the men's 200m contest.

The line-up for the half-lap race is spearheaded by world champion Ramil Guliyev of Turkey and Olympic silver medallist Andre de Grasse of Canada.

Schedule of athletes (SA time):

12.10pm - Sunette Viljoen (Javelin Throw women)

1.25pm - Luvo Manyonga, Ruswahl Samaai, Zarck Visser (Long Jump men)

1.45pm - Clarence Munyai (200m men)

2.26pm - Antonio Alkana (110m Hurdles men)

2.53pm - Akani Simbine (100m men)

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