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IAAF World Champion Luvo Manyonga Sets Sight on World Record

South Africa’s Luvo Manyonga has set his sights on the world record after winning gold at the IAAF World Championships in England on Saturday.

The 26-year-old, who only returned to the competition at the Rio Olympics after overcoming a drug addiction problem, looked confident from the start taking the lead in the second round with a leap of 8.48 meters, the third best mark since 2017.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“This Gold medal makes me feel over the moon. I have been praying to get this gold medal. The World record is my next goal.[/perfectpullquote]

“Rushwahl and me are pushing each other through the events. I am the best in the world – this sounds great.

“I was born in 1991, the same year the current world record was set, (8.95m by Mike Paul). So I think it’s calling for me,” Manyonga said.

He held off competition from American Jarrion Lawson, who in his first Championship managed to jump an impressive 8.44 in the last round to claim silver.

Manyonga’s teammate and compatriot Ruswahl Samaai, who also doubles as the leader in the Diamond League standings took the bronze to confirm South Africa’s dominance in the event.

The world junior champion who at one point admitted he at one point considered committing suicide has overcome many challenges, writing his own fairy tale story.

The South African was given an 18-month suspension after testing positive for recreational drug – crystal methamphetamine – but that didn’t deter his spirit.

He came back strong and put on an unforgettable show at the Rio Olympics in his first tournament back. He took home a bronze medal losing by only one centimeter to America’s Jeff Henderson.

Just one year after the Olympics, Manyonga has set a new national record, a continental record, and is currently 11th on the World all-time list.



Featured Photo: Getty Images

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