Cape Town - The majority of the South Africans struggled to produce their best form, but long jump world champion Luvo Manyonga was in spectacular shape, carrying the local contingent at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Birmingham, England on Saturday.
Manyonga bounced back after settling for the silver medal behind countryman Ruswahl Samaai at the recent CAA African Championships, delivering a fourth-round attempt of 8.53m to set a meeting record.
He was well clear of Jamaican athlete Tajay Gayle who finished second with a best leap of 8.17m. Former African champion Zarck Visser took fourth place with a 7.90m effort.
Though the long jump discipline did not carry Diamond League status at the meeting, Manyonga and Samaai have already qualified for the series finals to be held at the end of this month.
Akani Simbine finished sixth in the 100m men’s race in 10.09, with American athlete Christian Coleman taking the win in 9.94.
Earlier in the day, Simbine had won his qualifying heat in 10.07, while compatriot Ncincilili Titi was eighth in his race in 11.02 and was unable to progress.
Wenda Nel settled for sixth place in the 400m women’s hurdles race in 57.51, though it was enough for her to qualify for the Diamond League final.
Antonio Alkana finished sixth in his 110m hurdles heat in 13.59 and Dominique Scott-Efurd was 17th in the 3 000m women’s race in 9:01.64.
The Diamond League series finals will be held in Zurich on August 30 and Brussels on August 31.