Samaai the pick of SA trio in Shanghai action | SASCOC - SASCOC

Samaai the pick of SA trio in Shanghai action


By Mark Etheridge

South Africa’s trio of athletes in Shanghai Diamond League action at the weekend came up with a second, fourth and seventh-placed results… with long jumper Ruswahl Samaai top of the pile.
Samaai and China’s Gao Xinglong both jumped 8.14 metres, but the Chinese won on a countback.
‘I didn’t feel too bad about the competition, in fact I’m very happy with the results, just not happy with the travelling though,’ he told Road to Rio 2016 from Amsterdam as he prepared to head back to South Africa.
‘I wanted to go bigger but that’s just part of the sport. You win some, you lose some. The most important thing for me is to be consistent all the time and thats what I’ve done so more.’
The good thing is that Samaai is looking further down the road. ‘There’s still loads more in the tank and my next meet will be the Rabat Diamond League on Sunday.
‘In terms of improvement there’s not a lot of work that needs to be done. I still have to focus on speed work and try to get my run-up right.
In the 400-metre hurdles South African champion, LJ van Zyl, took fourth in his season’s best 49.13 seconds as Olympic champion Michael Tinsley of the US won in 48.90.
He told Road to Rio 2016 shortly after arriving in the Czech Republic for his next race: ‘Shanghai was good for me, that race could just as well have been the Olympic final in Rio. I’m feeling good and me and Irma [Reyneke, his coach] are precisely where we want to be at this stage of the season. I really want to be ready for Durban and the African Championships next month. My next race is in the Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava on Friday.’.
The men’s 800m was a rude awakening for Rynardt van Rensburg in his Diamond League debut. Confusion at the start saw him getting off to a dreadful start and he ended up with a 1:46.49 seventh spot.
‘The guy who checks the false starts said “stand up”, I think it was something to do with the high jumper on the inside of the track. So me, David Rudisha and the pacemaker stood up, the gun went off and everyone just ran off!’ he told Road to Rio 2016.
‘I’m very disappointed because I would have definitely have run a 1:45.50 at least. But I know I’m in good shape and can definitely run a personal best now.’ His next event is the Hengelo World Challenge on Sunday.
The race was won by Kenyan Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich in 1:45.68 from countrymen Robert Biwott and Alfred Kipketer with Rudisha fifth in 1:46.24 after having lead with 200m to go.