#Rio2016: SA long jump star Manyonga defeats 'demons' for fairytale comeback

Luvo Manyonga, whose personal story includes overcoming a drug addiction, jumped 8.37 metres.

Luvo Manyonga, draped in the South African flag, after winning silver in the long jump final in Brazil. Picture: Twitter @MbalulaFikile.

RIO DE JANEIRO - It's a dream come true. That's how long jumper Luvo Manyonga, who battled a drug addiction for several years, has described his silver medal performance in the long jump final at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Speaking soon after winning Team South Africa's sixth medal in Rio, Manyonga, draped in a South African flag, said his performance firmly brushed aside all of his personal issues.

Manyonga, whose personal story includes overcoming a drug addiction, jumped 8.37 metres and was in line for gold before Jeff Henderson of the US beat him with a dramatic final leap and a just single centimetre.

He says he has dealt with his demons.

"I rose from my demons, they have been trying to pull me down but now I made it, I can't even describe it."

The athlete says that he's got plenty of people back in South Africa to tell his story.

"I called my mom and son. I dedicate my medal to my son, he's my main motivation, and my mom and Gideon Sam, president of Sascoc."

He says that while Olympic silver is a career highlight, his previous life is firmly behind him.

"My life changed before I came here, this is a bonus."