By Mark Etheridge
Olympic silver medallist and reigning world champion Luvo Manyonga made his indoor athletics debut in impressive style in France on Wednesday night.
The super-talented long jumper, now based in Port Elizabeth after a stint in Pretoria, was competing at the Meeting Paris Indoor event.
He opened his competition with what was a world-leading 8.23-metre effort and went on to improve that to 8.32 with his second last leap.
Manyonga was in imperious form in his debut and had a huge victory margin at the end of the evening. Greece’s second-placed Miltiadis Tentoglou’s 7.89m was 43cm adrift.
The winning leap puts Manyonga second on the African indoor all-time list, only four centimeters shy of Ghana’s Ignisious Gaisah who leapt 8.36 12 years ago.
It’s also a national mark and improves on Beijing Olympic silver medallist Khotso Mokeona’s 8.18m, set in 2007 and later equalled by 2014 Commonwealth Games medallist Ruswahl Samaai two years ago.
‘Well done to Luvo Manyonga and his coaching staff on setting the South African indoor record which had stood unbroken since 2007,’ said Athletics South Africa President, Aleck Skhosana.
‘After giving us an indication of his tremendous potential last year, it’s clear he is gearing up for another spectacular season and we look forward to watching his progress ahead of the Commonwealth Games in April.’
Picture of Manyonga in Paris action courtesy of Anthony Dibon/Icon Sport