Echevarria shines as S. Africa's Manyonga suffers painful exit in Rabat

Rabat (AFP) –


Cuba's highly-rated Juan Miguel Echevarria claimed victory in the long jump at the Rabat Diamond League meeting on Sunday as South African world champion Luvo Manyonga was stretchered away with an ankle injury.

The 20-year-old Echevarria, the world indoor champion, claimed victory with a leap of 8.34m, just short of the season best of 8.38m set by Jeff Henderson of the United States.

With time on his side, the Cuban has made it his intention to eventually better Mike Powell's world record of 8.95m set back in 1991.

He has already had the world of track and field sit up and take notice with jumps of 8.92m in March and 8.83m in June last year even if they were wind-assisted.

"I am happy for my performance and achieving a season's best," said Echevarria, who finished second on his 2019 Diamond League debut in Stockholm.

"I owe my achievement to the crowds and the great atmosphere."

By contrast, Olympic silver medallist Manyonga cut a desolate figure, being carried off after injuring his ankle on his fourth attempt having been in front at that stage with an opening effort of 8.21m.

The meeting in Rabat saw two season-leading times set.

Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba clocked 3min 55.47sec in the 1,500m and compatriot Getnet Wale won the 3,000m steeplechase in 8min 6.01sec.

"I am ready for the world championships (in Doha from Sept 27-Oct 6)," said the 28-year-old Dibaba, the world record holder and 2015 world champion.

The men's 110m hurdles saw Jamaica's Omar McLeod, who was well on his way to victory, stumble over the last hurdle and in front of Russian rival Sergei Shubenkov to his right.

Shubenkov crossed the finish line in front and horizontally as a result of the clash. McLeod rolled home in fifth.