Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
14 Aug 2016
6:14 am

Manyonga beats his demons to earn Olympic silver

Wesley Botton

Luvo Manyonga launched a personal best effort of 8.37m to clinch a silver medal in men's long jump final, bringing SA's medal tally up to six.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 13: Luvo Manyonga of South Africa celebrates after the Men's Long Jump Final on Day 8 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Luvo Manyonga overcame his personal battles in the early hours of Sunday morning to secure a silver medal at the Rio Olympics.

The 25-year-old athlete, who returned to competition this season after winning a lengthy battle against recreational drug addiction, racked up another triumph to step on the podium at the multi-sport Games.

After taking the lead with a leap of 8.28m in the fourth round of the men’s long jump final, he launched a personal best effort of 8.37m in the next round.

Looking good for the gold medal, however, Jeff Henderson of the United States snatched the title with his final attempt, landing one centimetre further with a jump of 8.38m to take the title.

Manyonga was nonetheless delighted to stand on the podium.

“I have risen from my demons,” he said.

“They have tried all these years to bring me down, but now I have made it.”