Ruswahl Samaai was in top form on Saturday night, securing the bronze medal in the men’s long jump final on day two of the IAAF World Championships in London.
After climbing from fifth position to third with a leap of 8.27m in round five, he went on to reach 8.32m with his last attempt, joining countryman Luvo Manyonga on the podium in a historic event for South African athletics.
“I live for competition, and I struggled with a tight hamstring today, but before I jumped the 8.27, something shot in my mind, saying: You can do this. You have the ability to jump far,” Samaai said.
“I went back, relaxed, enjoyed the moment and it came, so I’m happy with the performance and the bronze medal.”
Meanwhile, after winning his 100m semifinal in 10.05 seconds, national record holder Akani Simbine grabbed fifth place in the final in 10.01, holding his own against the world’s best in track and field’s blue ribbon discipline.
“I’m really happy that I made it to the final and placed well. So I’m happy with the race,” Simbine said.
Middle-distance runner Caster Semenya progressed safely beyond the women’s 1 500m semifinals, taking third position in her race in 4:03.80.
She booked her spot in the final of the metric mile, to be held on Monday.
“The race was great. It was just about getting into the final and being safe, so we’re happy with the outcome,” Semenya said.
“Now it’s all about going back, resting and preparing for the final.”