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Khotso, Ruben miss out

By Mark Etheridge

A second Olympic qualifying time continued to elude our athletes Khotso Mokoena and Ruben Ramolefi at the opening Samsung Diamond League meeting in Doha on Friday night.

Mokoena and Ramolefi have both met all but one of the qualifying criteria to provisionally book their places at the London Olympics later this year.

But they still need to qualify at an international meeting as per stipulations.

National and continental record-holder Mokoena was out to jump 8.20 metres or better on Friday night but despite ending second behind Russian Aleksandr Mekov (8.22) he was unable to make his mark.

He jumped 8.10m on two occasions, with this second and fourth jump and will have to wait for another occasion to put his hand up for London.

Said Mokoena on his Facebook website after the meeting: “Thank you lord for yet another silver @IAAF DIAMOND LEAGUE in QATAR!! Let’s all rejoice in his name!! DOHA its been great!! Till next time!!#youthmotivation.”

For his part Ramolefi, a nine-time national 3000m steeplechase champion, was chasing down the 8min 23.10sec qualifying mark.

But despite running a season’s best time, his 8:24:28 fell just 1.18sec shy of the mark as he ended 11th behind Kenyan Paul Koech’s world-leading 7:56.58.

The two were the only South Africans in action at the opening Diamond League meeting and the series now moves to Shanghai, China next Friday.