Silver medal winner Manyonga back in SA

2016-08-16 16:00
Luvo Manyonga (Supplied)

Cape Town - South Africa's long jump silver medal winner, Luvo Manyonga, has arrived back in the country.

WATCH: Luvo Manyonga leaps to silver in Rio

Manyonga came within a whisker - 1cm - of winning the gold medal at the Rio Olympics.

Manyonga's story is stuff of Hollywood movie material.

The 25-year-old was close to dying before intervention from SASCOC president Gideon Sam got his life back on track. 

Manyonga was banned for 18 months back in 2012 when traces of methamphetamine (tik) were found in his system.

Shortly thereafter his coach was killed in a car crash.

"2012 was a time in my life when I thought it was over. Mr. Sam picked me up from nowhere," Manyonga said.

"Every time I wake up I always think about where I would be if I didn't take that path ... I would be living hell.

"You won't believe ... I was dead. Dead, dead, dead. 

"I'm so proud of whatever has happened in my life and the people who supported me to get me where I am today.

"I was so close to death."

Manyonga arrived back in South Africa on Tuesday afternoon to a gathering of his girlfriend, family, friends and supporters who'd assembled at OR Tambo International Airport.

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