Photo Credit: Errol Anderson/Jiro Mochizuki

Not many athletes can boast of smashing a Meeting Record (MR) on their very first attempt in a Field event, but that was the exact feat South Africa’s Luvo Manyonga achieved at the Shanghai Diamond League on Saturday.

The 26-year old opened his campaign in Shanghai with a massive leap of 8.48m in the Long jump, bettering Mitchell Watt’s MR of 8.44 m set in 2011.

He then extended the MR by 1cm on his third attempt having fouled on the second, before soaring to a Diamond League Record (DLR) of 8.61m on his final attempt, after fouling on his fourth and fifth attempts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUAw67iG81A

This is his third jump over 8.60m this year, and Manyonga currently tops the world rankings with his African Record of 8.65m set last month in Potchefstroom, during the South African Championships.

Manyonga has already cemented his status as the man to watch out for at the London World Championships later this year, having narrowly missed out on GOLD at Rio 2016.

The Chinese trio of Xinglong Gao, Changzhou Huang and Yaoguang Zhang were inspired to a Season’s Best (SB) and Personal Bests (PB) with leaps of 8.22m, 8.20m and 8.19m respectively. African Champion Rushwal Samaai was 4th with 8.18m.

Former World Champion in the men’s 400m Hurdles, Bershawn Jackson emerged the surprise winner in the event in Shanghai. The 34-year old who is setting his sights on retirement at the end of the season, may just reconsider his stance after smashing Michael Tinsley’s 3-year old MR of 48.77s, replacing it with a time of 48.63s.

South Africa’s L.J Van Zyl and Rasmus Magi of Estonia followed in 49.35s and 49.38s respectively, while reigning Olympic Champion Kerron Clement placed 4th in 49.43s.

The women’s 3000m Steeplechase was another event that produced an MR in Shanghai. Ruth Jebet and Hyvin Kiyeng rekindled their intense rivalry once again but this time around, the Bahraini athlete avenged her loss in Doha from a week ago by racing to an MR 9:04.78, thus smashing Kiyeng’s record of 9:07.42 set last year. Talk about revenge being a dish best served cold!

USA’s Sam Kendricks upstaged World Record (WR) holder Renaud Lavillenie to win the men’s Pole vault in with a mark of 5.88m, inspiring the entire field to SBs in the event. The Frenchman settled for 2nd with a leap of 5.83m as Shawnacy Barber and Olympic Champion Thiago Braz Da Silva placed 3rd and 4th respectively with a mark of 5.60m.

Rio 2016 Silver medallist in the men’s High Jump Mutaz Barshim extended his winning streak from Doha by dominating his event with a clearance of 2.33m. China’s Yu Wang followed with 2.30m, while Andriy Protsenko finished in 3rd place (2.27m).      Erik Kynard and favourite Guowei Zhang were joint 4th with 2.24m.

Sandra Perkovic continued her dominance in the women’s Discus throw and settled for victory with a distance of 66.94m, finishing ahead of Australia’s Dani Stevens (66.47m) and reigning World Champion Denia Caballero (65.76m).

Beijing 2015 Silver medallist Philip Milanov topped the standings in the men’s Discus with his SB of 64.94m, while reigning World Champion Piotr Malachowski followed with an SB of 64.36m. Daniel Stahl was 3rd with 64.14m.

Olympic Champion in the women’s Shot put Michelle Carter was absent in Shanghai, but the presence of Beijing Silver medallist and the fan’s favourite Lijiao Gong added a lot of spice to the event.

Gong granted the home crowd’s wishes by snatching the win with an SB of 19.46m, having dominated the field from her very first throw. Daniella Bunch (18.98m) and World Leader Anita Marton (18.69m) were 2nd and 3rd respectively.

 

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Yemi Olus is a Senior Sports Writer at Making of Champions. She has a bias for athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the National Sports Festival and the African Athletics Championships, and has also freelanced for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN). Yemi holds a BA in Public Administration from Ahmadu Bello University .

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