Three Agency Clients in KZN Craven Week team

Congratulations to rugby clients Dylan Kruger (Glenwood), Conan Le Fleur (Glenwood) and Fezo Mbatha (Maritzburg College) for their selection into the KZN Craven Week team.

The Coca-Cola U18 Craven Week tournament is the flagship tournament of the SA Rugby Youth Weeks and is hosted by St Stithians College from July 17 to 22.

Captain Zondo excited by England Lions Challenge

Khaya Zondo, who will lead the SA ‘A’ team 50-over squad for a month-long trip to England, is looking forward to the challenge of captaining and playing. Read more on his thoughts about the tour here: http://cricket.co.za/news/18730/Zondo-excited-by-England-Lions-Challenge, and hear him talk about the team and their preparations here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VOVyL5DKqU

Manyonga stuns in Shanghai

Luvo Manyonga stunned the athletics world this weekend at the Shanghai Diamond League meeting by breaking not only the meeting record twice in three jumps, but also jumping 8.61m to break the overall Diamond League record.

Maynyonga put together an incredible series of jumps of 8.48m, 8.49m and 8.61m through the evening which puts him further along the path to achieving his goal of becoming the first person to jump over 9m.

No one has jumped further than 8.60m since 2009 and Monyonga has now done so 3 times in the past month.

Manyonga to compete in ‘near repeat’ of last year’s Olympic final

Missed last year’s long jump final at the Olympic Games in Rio?  Don’t worry the competition at Saturday’s Diamond League in Shanghai is going to be a near repeat. The top six placed athletes are all competing – it could be seen as a rerun and an opportunity for athletes to settle old scores.

Neil Cornelius who is coaching Luvo Manyonga (TuksAthletics), arguably the hottest prospect in international long jumping at the moment, sees it as a good dress rehearsal for the World Championships in London. “I think in Shanghai the athletes might just be vying to get a psychological upper hand. One good jump for any athlete could get the others to start worrying.”

According to Cornelius it is not often that you get a competition in which seven athletes can boast with a personal best of 8.40 meters and better; three of them are South Africans: Manyonga, Khotso Mokoena (8.50m) and Rushwal Samaai (8.49m).

Manyonga is the trendsetter having jumped 8.62 meters and 8.65 meters in competition. He is the first athlete to jump further than 8.60 meters since 2009. Lee-Roy Newton his agent said he can’t remember when last any athlete has managed two attempts past 8.60 so early in a season.

If everything goes according to plan Cornelius hopes that the South Africans can send out a clear message to the Americans. That is that their domination of international long jumping is about to come to an end. The current statistics favours Cornelius’s confidence as the top five jumps this season on the IAAF-list are all credited to South Africans. Samaai’s attempt of 8.49m is so far the third best of the season. Manyonga’s 8.46m is the fourth best and Samaai’s 8.35m slots in at fifth.

Manyonga is making no secret about the fact that he has his sights on Mike Powell’s long-standing world record of 8.95 meters set in 1991. The Tuks-athlete is clever enough not to make bold predictions. He prefers his legs to do the talking and then he would mouth-off afterwards.

According to Manyonga he knows he is capable of a few more really big jumps this season but after last year’s fiasco at the national championships in Stellenbosch where he overstepped five times, he realised the importance of making his first jump count.

“That was definitely a turning point in my career. Ever since my coach keeps reminding me that with a good first jump you buy five more.”

Being considered to be the favourite in Shanghai does not faze Manyonga. Newton said he actually thrives under pressure.

“Luvo is a natural entertainer. He wants to get his fans to get excited about his performance. The more they get involved during the competition the better he is going to perform. Watch this space Friday there might just be another really big jump.”

Manyonga’s own opinion about pressure is that the long jump pit is his office. “In my office I never feel any pressure but it is when I step outside that I sometimes get nervous.”

The top six in last year’s Olympic Games final who will be competing on Friday are 1. Jeff Henderson (USA), 2. Manyonga,  3. Greg Rutherford (Britain), 4. Jarrion Lawson (USA), 5. Jianan Wang (China), 6. Emiliano Lasa (Uruguay).

Phehlukwayo signs endorsement contract with adidas

International all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo recently signed an endorsement contract with adidas, confirming his status as one of the exciting new players in world cricket. Howard Kahn, sports marketing manager for adidas South Africa, was happy to have a player of Phehlukwayo’s character and ability become part of the brand’s family, saying: ‘Andile is an exciting young talent who conducts himself professionally both on and off the field. We at Adidas know he will be a wonderful ambassador and look forward to supporting him as he develops both as a cricketer and role model.’

Phehlukwayo was equally pleased in becoming a representative for the brand, adding: ‘I am very thankful to represent an iconic brand such as adidas. I have no doubt that their attention to detail, commitment to innovation and dedication to performance will help me become the cricketer I want to be.’

Fredericks back on international stage after 2 years

400m hurdles Commonwealth champion Cornel Fredericks was back competing on the international stage this weekend after a 2 year struggle with injury, running a respectable 5th place in the Doha Diamond League meeting. Fredericks now goes on to compete on the European athletics circuit over the next few months.