One giant leap: 5 fascinating facts about Luvo Manyonga, SA's long jump hero

One giant leap: 5 fascinating facts about Luvo Manyonga, SA's long jump hero

Luvo Manyonga is potentially looking at a podium finish at this year's Commonwealth Games being held in Australia's Gold Coast.

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The 27-year-old has become one the world's most recognised athletes. This is because of his athletic ability and his amazing backstory on how he overcame drug addiction to conquer the world.

Briefly.co.za, with the help of thesouthafrican.com, put together this list of five facts about the amazing athlete.

1. He could have given Usain Bolt a run for his money

Manyonga may have been making a name for himself on a different track had he decided to pursue a career as 100m and 200m sprinter.

Taking the advice of his teachers, Manyonga chose long jump and high jump instead and showed promise in the triple jump as well.

He did compete in a 100m run recently and clocked an impressive 10.39 seconds.

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2. Failing a drug test normally ends a career, instead, it started Manyonga's

After successfully competing in the World Junior Championships and taking home the gold in 2010 he only managed to finish 5th place in 2011.

Combined with a failed drug test many had written Manyonga off as an athlete. In 2012 he tested positive for tik which forced him to confront the fact that he had an addition.

Manyonga managed to successfully resurrect his career with the help of his coaches and was able to return to professional competition in 2016, the same year he earned himself an Olympic silver medal.

3. Ironically the jumping athlete has a fear of heights

Not usually something you'd associate with a "jumper" but luckily for Manyonga he is not judged on height but length.

4. His personal best is not good enough for him

The furtherest that he has jumped is 8,65m but that is not good enough for himself. He plans to become the first man in history to jump 9m.

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5. He plans to give back to aspiring sports stars in rural areas

He wants to afford those who are not as privileged as himself. He plans on helping kids out in rural areas to make their dreams a reality. Manyonga plans on achieving this by working with a charity to give these kids access to sporting facilities.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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