Luvo Manyonga celebrates after winning the long jump at the IAAF World Championships. Photo: EPA/DIEGO AZUBEL

JOHANNESBURG - Taking another major leap in his career, Luvo Manyonga will return to the nest, moving from Pretoria to Port Elizabeth to be closer to his family.

The world long-jump gold medallist will leave the University of Pretoria where he had found a new lease on his career since returning to the sport at the beginning of 2016.

Manyonga has the world title and the Olympic silver medal behind his name since he joined the University of Pretoria High-Performance Centre towards the end of 2015.

The long-jump sensation’s agent, Lee-Roy Newton, said the move meant Manyonga would be closer to the comfort and stability his family provides.

“He’s made the decision to move down to Port Elizabeth to change his training environment and to be closer to his family down there,” Newton said.

Newton confirmed that Neil Cornelius would continue coaching Manyonga, but he could not divulge whether the Pretoria-based mentor would also move or commute to The Windy City.

“Neil is still the coach. We are still in discussions so I don’t want to give answers until it is finalised.”

Manyonga and Cornelius have formed a successful combination, first winning the silver medal at the Olympic Games before a stellar 2017 season which included the world title.

This year he set the sandpit alight leaping over 8.60m on four occasions, setting new South African records with leaps of 8.62m and 8.65m.

He completed a winning streak over a full calendar year over 10 meetings before finishing the year off with the Diamond League Trophy in the long jump.

Manyonga’s next major goal would be winning gold at next year’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and is likely to target the World Indoor title in Birmingham him March.

“We haven’t finalised the details yet, it depends on how the preparations go, but we will sit down with Neil and finalise the schedule over the next couple of weeks,” Newton said about Manyonga’s plans for the World Indoor Championships.

“It also depends on whether he will only do World Indoor or one event before the Championships.”

Cape Times

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