South African long jumper Ruswahl Samaai
Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP
Ruswahl Samaai is looking to continue South Africa’s long jumping success at the Olympic Games.
Samaai will look to follow in the footsteps of former Olympic silver medallists Khotso Mokoena and Luvo Manyonga as he eyes a podium finish in Tokyo.
With Manyonga out of the running after receiving a four-year ban, Samaai will look to carry the athletics team’s long jump hopes.
The 29-year-old from Paarl is hoping to improve in his second Olympic Games, following a disappointing finish in Rio.
At the 2016 Games, Samaai was struck with a hamstring injury days before the final, which saw him finish ninth in the men’s long jump.
The men’s long jump category is a fierce one with Greece’s Miltiadis Tentoglou and Jamaican Tajay Gayle favourites.
Samaai has had a decent season so far, finishing first at the Top Athletics Lucerne event in Switzerland with an 8.06m jump.
In the build-up to Japan, Samaai finished fourth at the Stockholm Diamond League and fifth at the Monaco Diamond League this month.
Samaai will compete alongside fellow countryman Cheswill Johnson in the men’s long jump, which is scheduled to get under way on 31 July.
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