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Luvo set to fly in Finland

Promising young long-jumper Luvo Manyonga tackles the second competition of his European tour on Wednesday when he lines up in Espoo, Finland.

Manyonga, 18, jumped 8.03 metres in Kuortane (also Finland) at the weekend.

But coach Mario Smith warned that they were nursing the youngster carefully. “He’s in good shape at the moment but he has a little problem with his knee which we don’t want to aggravate so chances are that we’ll only do a maximum of three jumps in Espoo.”

Three of Smith’s Stellenbosch-based athletes will be in action. Apart from Manyonga, Louw Smit, who ran the 110m hurdles in Kuortane, will line up for the 200m on this occasion, not really his distance but something they need to tackle because of an upcoming meeting in Sweden. Smit holds the Africa record for junior 110m hurdles with a time of 13.7sec for the 99.5cm obstacles.

The other athlete — he didn’t run in Kuortane — is 400m specialist Shaun de Jager.

De Jager was the 400m silver medallist in the SA junior championships in 2009 and also earlier this year. He ran 47.25sec for the one-lapper at a qualifying meeting in Stellenbosch mid-June.

Also in action later in the week will be Rene Kalmer. The in-form athlete has just returned from two road races in the United States and now she’s back on track in Europe.

She runs in Madrid, Spain on Friday, the first of five meetings she has lined up over the next few weeks.

Mark Etheridge