Cape Town - World champion Luvo
Manyonga will lead a group of four South African athletes on Saturday, as they
take on some of the best in the world in their respective disciplines at the
second of 14 legs in the IAAF Diamond League series in Shanghai, China.
Manyonga, who won gold at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia last month, will
open his Diamond League campaign in the long jump.
He will have a battle on his hands, however, with the line-up also featuring
Olympic champion Jeff Henderson of the United States and 19-year-old world
indoor champion, Juan Miguel Echevarria of Cuba.
Two other Commonwealth Games medallists will form part of the SA contingent
this weekend, with Sunette Viljoen turning out in the javelin and
Wenda Nel competing in the 400m hurdles.
Viljoen, who stepped on the Commonwealth podium for the fourth successive
edition of the Games by taking bronze in Australia, will fancy her chances against the likes
of former world champion Katharina Molitor and Chinese athlete Huihui Lyu.
Nel, who also earned
bronze at the Gold Coast Games, will go into the blocks against a world-class
field which includes American athlete Dalilah Muhammad, the Olympic champion,
as well as Jamaican athlete Janieve Russell, who won gold at the Commonwealth
Rynardt van Rensburg,
the last of the South Africans in action, will also be confident of putting up
a fight in the 800m.
Though some of the world's top two-lap stars are
giving the event a miss, Van Rensburg will line up against a handful of worthy
opponents including experienced Polish athlete Marcin Lewandowski and two-time
World Indoor Championships medallist, Andrew Osagie of Great Britain.
Schedule of SA athletes competing at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in
13:03 - Wenda Nel - 400m hurdles
13:40 - Sunette Viljoen - javelin
13:43 - Luvo Manyonga - long jump
14:04 - Rynardt van Rensburg - 800m