Manyonga bounces to the safety of home

World long jump champion Luvo Manyonga has decided to cut his ties with the University of Pretoria and move to Port Elizabeth.

Lee-Roy Newton, his agent, indicated yesterday that one of the main reasons for Manyonga’s decision is because he wants to be closer to his family.

Toby Sutcliffe, the acting CEO of TuksSport, has said he respects Manyonga’s decision.

“We wish Luvo all the best for the future and hope that he will continue to dominate the world of athletics. “I think it has been an exciting two years for everyone at TuksSport who has been involved with Manyonga. Together with Luvo they indeed shifted the boundaries of international long jumping.”

Manyonga became the first male athlete from TuksAthletics to win a world title when he won the long jump event in London. The only other Tuks athlete to have won a world title since 1992 was Caster Semenya, who won the 800m in Berlin in 2009.

Manyonga did more than just to win a title – he revived international long jumping by becoming the first athlete since 2010 to go past 8.50m.

His best effort of 8.65m is an African and South African record. He also has one of the longest winning streaks. He extended his unbeaten record to 10 victories by winning the Diamond League Final in Zurich.

Another highlight for Manyonga and his TuksSport support team was winning a silver medal at last year’s Olympic Games in Rio. His coach, Neil Cornelius, also made local athletics history by becoming the youngest South African mentor (aged 29) to have coached a world champion. Manyonga’s decision to leave Tuks means he is no longer eligible for accolades at the TuksSports Colours and Awards function. Recipients of the coveted awards are expected to be a brand ambassador for the University of Pretoria for the following 12 months.

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