South Africa’s Ruswahl Samaai and America’s Jarrion Lawson both went one better than their recent IAAF World Championships performances on Sunday.
Competing in the Birmingham leg of the IAAF Diamond League series, Samaai moved up from third to second and Lawson from silver to gold in the long jump.
At world champs in London earlier this month Samaai secured bronze while Lawson was runner-up to SA’s Luvo Manyonga.
There was no Manyonga to contend with in Birmingham as Lawson won with a leap of 8.19 metres and Samaai was 16cm shorter than that.
The two, along with Lawson’s US counterpart Michael Hartfield, were the only jumpers over the 8m barrier.
Samaai’s second-place jump came with his penultimate jump after Lawson had leapt what proved to be the winning distance in his third attempt.
Former SA record holder Khotso Mokoena struggled on Sunday, his 7.70m with his fourth attempt only good for eight spot.
There was still a golden moment for SA a little later in the meeting though as Rio Paralympics silver medalist Ntando Mahlangu notched up another personal best.
Running the T42 200m race and into a slight headwind, Mahlangu clocked 23.16sec for a comfortable win over American Regas Woods (26.60) after Britain’s Richard Whitehead had been disqualified for stepping out of his lane.