Break­ing long jump record all about Many­onga’s al­ti­tude

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - OCK­ERT DE VIL­LIERS

HIGH-FLY­ING long-jumper Luvo Many­onga is will­ing to go to dizzy­ing heights to break the world record and will be look­ing for some as­sis­tance from the rar­efied air of the French Alps to achieve this.

The alpine re­sort of Tignes in south-east­ern France, will next week host some of the world’s best hor­i­zon­tal jumpers where it has pur­posely built what should be the high­est jump­ing pits on the planet at 3032m in al­ti­tude.

Many­onga be­came South Africa’s first long jump world cham­pion over the weekend, adding the se­nior ti­tle to the ju­nior gold he won in 2010.

The South African longjump ace shared the podium with com­pa­triot third-placed Ruswahl Sa­maai, the duo win­ning the coun­try’s first dou­ble-medal in the same fi­nal at the global show­piece.

Many­onga pro­duced his win­ning jump of 8.48m on his sec­ond at­tempt, with Amer­i­can Jar­rion Law­son fin­ish­ing sec­ond with a best at­tempt of 8.44m, while Sa­maai bagged the bronze with his 8.32m.

Speaking days af­ter win­ning his maiden se­nior world ti­tle, Many­onga said there was no time for cel­e­bra­tions as he still had a few more boxes to tick off in the sea­son.

“Af­ter the com­pe­ti­tion there is al­most no high, every­thing just re­mains the same be­cause we had a plan be­fore we came here,” Many­onga said.

“Be­com­ing world cham­pion is just the start, I will be on a high when I fin­ish the Di­a­mond League fi­nal. Only then can I re­lax.”

“I will be jump­ing at 3000 me­tres above sea level, where I will be on a moun­tain (next week).”

Many­onga’s coach Neil Cor­nelius be­lieves if his charge does not set a new world record in Tignes, he would do it some­where in the near fu­ture.

“It is go­ing to hap­pen, even­tu­ally, I am very pos­i­tive we will get a mas­sive dis­tance there (Tignes),” Cor­nelius said.

“I have no doubt it is go­ing to hap­pen whether it is this year or next year but I can tell you Tignes is the com­pe­ti­tion to look out for.”

Since break­ing the South African and African record and con­sis­tently jump­ing over 8.60 me­tres, Many­onga has spo­ken about break­ing Amer­i­can Mike Pow­ell’s world mark of 8.95m, set in 1991’s World Cham­pi­onship in Ath­let­ics in Tokyo. Al­ti­tude is said to have been a ma­jor fac­tor when former record holder, Bob Bea­mon of the US, broke the world record with an open­ing jump of 8.90m at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mex­ico City.

Boast­ing a per­sonal best of 8.65m and steeled by his worldti­tle win­ning per­for­mance in Lon­don, Many­onga will be bullish about at least scar­ing the world record.

Cor­nelius said al­though he be­lieves Many­onga has the abil­ity to break the record, they were first look­ing for more con­sis­tent per­for­mances at longer dis­tances.

“We don’t just want one mas­sive jump, we want con­sis­tent, nat­u­ral im­prove­ments and things that stick,” Cor­nelius said.

“I know if he ex­e­cutes it right, the big dis­tances will come … Luvo’s top 10 av­er­age at the mo­ment is 8.49m, so my next goal is for him to get an 8.6m, which means more con­sis­tent 8.7 and 8.8 jumps.”

PIC­TURE: BACK­PAGEPIX

A CHAM­PI­ONS RISES: Gold medal­ist Luvo Many­onga.

IN LON­DON AT THE IAAF WORLD CHAM­PI­ONSHIPS IN ATH­LET­ICS

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