Gold Coast - South
African long jumper Luvo Manyonga said he aimed to go another season
unbeaten and set his sights on the world record after snatching a
brilliant victory at the Commonwealth Games.
The former crystal meth addict, who shook off his problems to claim
Olympic silver in 2016, underlined his growing status with a final leap
of 8.41m to set a new Games record and grab gold from Australia's Henry
Manyonga said that with more time to acclimatise he could have
challenged Mike Powell's world record of 8.95m set in 1991 - the year
he was born.
"If I could get some more time, I could give it a try," he said of
the damp and slippery Gold Coast track.
"Anything can happen. I just
have to focus on the run-up and technique, the rest will do itself."
Such confidence underlines the heady rise of Manyonga, who was banned
after testing positive for methamphetamine in 2012 and struggled with
addiction before his triumphant return.
Now, a first Commonwealth Games title is all in a day's work for the
27-year-old as he targets staying unbeaten for a second straight season,
with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics approaching.
"It was on my bucket list of the major competitions and now I've
ticked off the Commonwealth Games. I'm looking for the Intercontinental
(Cup) and there's still more to tick," he said.
"It's a medal in the bag, I'm just going to go home and start working
again," added Manyonga.
"It's the same as a normal person going to the
office: you just tick the box and go back home."
Manyonga set what was then his personal best in winning Olympic
silver in 2016, and he will be looking for another breakthrough in 2020
in Tokyo - where Powell set the existing world record in his famous
duel with Carl Lewis.
A year ago, he leapt 8.65m in South Africa's Potchefstroom - the
longest jump recorded since American Dwight Phillips soared 8.74m in
Even after his latest victory, Manyonga had a word of advice for
drug-users in Australia, which has the world's highest per capita
consumption of crystal meth.
"I just want to tell everyone who's struggling with drug addiction or
whatever, it doesn't matter what addiction they have, just accept that
you're powerless over it, you have a problem. And ask for help," he
"Because when you're in it, you think that you can beat it by
yourself but it's not easy like that. You have to get a team, work with a
team and be honest with yourself. It helped me, so I think everyone can
get help from that."