Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
2 minute read
17 Jan 2021
7:45 am

Athlete or addict: Which side of Luvo will win the fight?

Wesley Botton

Manyonga is one of the most talented athletes South Africa has produced, but he has struggled throughout his career, fighting an internal battle with himself.

Long jumper Luvo Manyonga in action at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha. Picture: Getty Images

A few years ago, I witnessed perhaps the most spectacular single athletic performance I've ever seen, but it was achieved by an enigma, and it didn't even count. After two no jumps at the national championships, and facing elimination, Luvo Manyonga was expected to make a composed, comfortable attempt and stay well behind the line on take-off, in order to ensure he stayed in the competition. Instead, Manyonga launched himself into the air with all the restraint of a ravenous beast. From the press box, which is tucked away at the back of the stands, it can be quite difficult...