By: Malwandla Hlekane – South African Sportscaster
The South African name was appeased and held high in one of the most famous international athletics leagues. It was a week filled with amazing wins and achievements this past week in our sports industry. We witnessed one of our own – Ruswahl Samaai – bag an impressive win at the World Athletics Diamond League.
Ruswahl Samaai held his composure when he won his specialist discipline and made an explosive return to the World Athletics Diamond League competition in Stockholm, Sweden this past week.
Samaai scooped second place with the best jump of 8.07 metres behind Swedish athlete Thobias Montler, who landed at 8.13 meters – which qualified both to a jump-off in the final round.
As they headed to the final round – different from the norm – there was a twist from the usual when it was discovered that the organisers were using a new yet controversial format. A few opposed the new “Final Three” format, which saw the top three athletes – after five rounds – contest in a one-round final jump, which determined the overall winner.
The true spirit of the two-time African champion prevailed as Samaai delivered a season’s best of 8.09 meters in the final round, while Montler landed at 8.06 meters, with Samaai snatching a hard-fought victory.
“A wonderful performance from Ruswahl,” said Aleck Skhosana in part – the President of Athletics South Africa. “His hard work throughout the lockdown in South Africa has paid off,” Skhosana continued in praise. This win marks the third World Athletics Diamond League of Samaai’s career.
Most European countries have eased down their lockdown rules and their athletes had the privilege to return to preparations and training sooner than South Africans. Though that obstacle was not enough to put our own Golden Boy down – a very well deserved congratulations goes out to him, his coach and his entire team for a job well done.