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Luvo third in Finland

Up and coming long jumper Luvo Manyonga placed third in an international athletics meeting in Finland at the weekend.

The 18-year-old Stellenbosch athlete leapt to an 8.03-metre effort just two centimetres off his personal best of 8.05m, set in Germiston earlier this year.

The competition was the Finnish Elite Games Series in Kuortane, attended by a full house of 4000 spectators.

Thunderstorm activity in the area saw a strong tailwind for the long-jumpers but the majority of the rain stayed away, with only a few drops reaching the stadium.

The long-jump was won by Finland’s Tommi Evila with an 8.07m effort, assisted by a following wind of 2.01m per second.

Manyonga’s best effort came with his fourth jump after he had opened proceedings with a 7.84m. Runner-up on the day was South Korea’s Kim Duk-Hyeon with an 8.06m best.

Olympic silver medallist Khotso Mokoena is the best South African long-jumper this year with an 8.15m, set in Greece last month. Best of the year so far is American Dwight Phillips with an 8.42m effort.

Another one of coach Mario Smith’s athletes in action at Kuortane was hurdler Louw Smit. He placed sixth in the 110m dash, clocking 14.53sec to winner Juha Sonck’s 14.13sec.

The South Africans are expected to compete at another Finnish meeting, in Espoo, later this week.

Mark Etheridge