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SA trio seek form in Finland

Youngsters Luvo Manyonga, Shaun de Jager and Louw Smit on Wednesday continued their build up to the World Junior track and field championships in Canada later this month.

The three were competing in the Espoo Challenge in Finland, part of their European campaign.

Manyonga, 18, ended fourth in the senior long-jump competition with a best of 8.03 metres. This replicated his jump from Kuortane, also in Finland, at the weekend.

A niggling knee injury meant that Manyonga was possibly only going to have three attempts but he ended up completing all six of his jumps. He opened with an 8.03m effort and it’s encouraging to see him repeat that with his fifth jump. And his sixth and final jump was just one centimetre shorter. The event was won by Denmark’s Morten Jensen with an 8.21m effort.

De Jager was competing in the senior men’s 400m and the SA junior championships silver medallist placed fourth in 47.38sec. The race was won by local athlete Matti V├ñlim├ñki┬á in 47.29.

“I really think Luvo and Shaun are in good form right now as they prepare for the World Junior Champs,” said Stellenbosch based coach Mario Smith.

Also competing on Wednesday was Louw Smith who ended fourth in the 200m B race. He clocked 22.35sec behind Bahama’s Adrian Griffith (21.42).

“Cornel Fredericks (SA 400m hurdles champion) and Louw are both competing in Switzerland tonight (Thursday). Luvo and myself are on our way to Madrid for a competition on Friday.”

Mark Etheridge


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