Growing up in Wendy House, Paarl’s Ruswahl Samaai was a determined kid with an unquenching thirst for success. This determination paid off on Friday evening when he jumped his way to the finals at the IAAF World Championship in London.
The 25 year old long jumper qualified with a distance of 8.14 metres, the third longest jump of the evening. Entering the event, Ruswahl leads the IAAF Diamond League standings and he is also considered to be one of the favourites to take the gold.
Last month, he won the men’s long jump at the IAAF Diamond League meet in Rabat with a distance of 8.35 metres and he took the gold at the Istvan Gyulai Memorial meeting in Budapest with a distance of 8.34 metres.
He is also a Commonwealth Bronze medalist, he won gold at the 2016 African Championships and he holds the South African Indoor record for national record.
Rushwahl’s determination as an athlete is as a result of his mother, Minnie. Minnie had a determined vision that her children would rise above their circumstances and worked hard to give them what they need to achieve their goals. Ruswahl’s achievements is testament to her sacrifices.
Not only is Ruswalh a great athlete, but he was also an academic achiever, which is why he was awarded with a scholarship for one of Paarl’s best high schools. He went on to study Transport Management at the University of Johannesburg and last year, he was named the University’s Sports Star of the Year.
If you want to follow Ruswahl’s progress, the final for the long jump will be held today at 20:05.