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Mokoena jumps to bronze in ‘crazy’ Catalonia Open

Mokoena

By Mark Etheridge

Beijing Olympics silver medallist Khotso Mokoena picked up bronze in the long jump at the Catalonia Open meeting in Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday.

One of only two South Africans in action, Mokoena rued windy conditions he rated as totally unsuitable for long jump.

He leapt 7.53 behind Morocco’s Yahya Berrabah (7.75) and Cuba’s Maykel Masso (7.74m).

‘It was dreadful,’ he said. ‘We had winds of minus 4.4m per sec, then 3.2, then 2.8, the wind was just crazy.

‘And the meeting officials wouldn’t listen when I asked if we could change pits.

‘But anyway, my time is ticking and my next journey is in Budapest, Hungary on Tuesday next week.’

Mokoena’s fellow South African in action was Ranti Dikgale in the men’s one-lapper.

He ran his way into silver with a time of 46.33sec as Cuban Yoandys Lescay won in 46.01, while Egypt’s Annas Beshr was third in 47.17.

Meanwhile, in the FOLKSAM Grand Prix in Sollentuna, Sweden, the eight-strong South African contingent had a successful haul of medals.

Commonwealth champion Cornel Fredericks led the way, with gold in the men’s 400m hurdles.

He won in 49.80 to make it an all-SA podium as Le Roux Hamman (50.36) and Constant Pretorius (50.52) took the other medals.

There were two more silver medals for Rantso Mokopane in the 3000m steeplechase (8:48.02) and Stella Marais in the women’s 5000m (16:29.50).

Winners in those events were Napoleon Solomon (8:38.96) and Ireland’s Emma Mitchell (16:05.61).

Two places behind Mokopane was Sibusiso Madikezela in 8:52.50.

There was another medal for middle-distance athlete Gena Lofstrand in the 800m as she ran 2:03.78, compared to winner Christina Hering of Germany (2:03:46).

Final member of the team was Rio Olympian Rynardt van Rensburg, who took fourth in the men’s 800 (1:49.40). Winner was Andreas Kramer in 1:48.66.

‘The weather was bad,’ said Van Rensburg, ‘then the pace maker went 53 where it was expected he’d go 51. So it turned out to be more of a jog and I’m not the best with slowish pace runners around.

‘I prefer a hard race from start to finish. But still it’s good training to get those sort of races in. Now it’s back to work for Lucerne, Switzerland on 11 July – the big one for me.’

In the picture are members of the SA squad that did duty in Sollentuna.


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