Mokoena battles to eighth spot in Games long jump final | TeamSA - TeamSA

Mokoena battles to eighth spot in Games long jump final

By Mark Etheridge in London

He left it late before qualifying for the final but when it counted 2008 Olympic silver medallist long jumper Khotso Mokoena failed to make the mark at the 2012 Games on Saturday night.

Mokoena opened up encouragingly enough with a 7.93 metre effort which left him third after round one of six.

But that’s as good as it got on the night and that was his best attempt which saw him ending eighth of the 12 finalists.

He had a red flag on his second attempt and then a below-par 7.62 with his third jump.

And that was that for the man who went into the final pumped up and going for gold after an 8.02 qualifying jump on Friday (achieved with the last of three qualifing jumps).

He followed his 7.62m third round with a hat-trick of three red-flags and left the competition failing to break the 8m barrier. At last year’s world championships in South Korea he failed to make the final.

The gold medal went to Briton Greg Rutherford with an 8.31m jump on this fourth attempt.

Mokoena’s silver medal distance in Beijing four years ago was 8.24.

Going into the final only three of the 12 qualifiers, Sebastian Bayer (Germany), Briton Rutherford and American Marquise Mokoena, had better season-best distances than Mokoena. And only Bayer and Aussie Mitchell Watt had ever jumped further than the South African.

Next up for Team South Africa is the trio of Rene Kalmer, Irvette van Blerk and Tanith Maxwell in the women’s marathon on Sunday morning.


  1. Lala

    August 11, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Mark, what beef do you have with Mokoena, your reporting on his performances
    always have negative undertones, no matter how well he performs.
    I read your reporting on the performances of the marathon ladies,
    which were equally disastrous(no offense to the girls,better luck next time)
    Yet the tone of your report on the marathon ladies are more supportive than criticism.
    Please will you keep your reports unbias and professional and leave personal feelings out of it.
    No hardfeelings, just honest observation on your writing and reporting.

    • Mark Etheridge

      August 11, 2012 at 10:45 pm

      Hi Lala.. thanx for your observations. Unfortunately you can’t please all the people all the time. I have no beef whatsover with Khotso. He’s a great guy and a great athlete. Sorry you saw it as negative but that’s not how I see it. In fact I have no doubt that HE has a beef with himself after his final, especially after being so upbeat during qualifying. He was not happy with himself at all. AS for our ladies I fail to see what negatives you spotted. Rene had a great run, as did Tanith, and unfortunately Irvette got injured so I fail to see where any negativity comes into it. Facts are facts. No personal feelings at all although having been in this game for more than 25 years your personal knowledge etc obviously comes into stories. If there was no passion involved in writing about these amazing athletes (whether they perform well or poorly) the sports world would be an extremely dull place and we would just read the results?
      But thanks for your point, you have a view and I respect that. Thankfully 99% percent of the feedback is positive but as I said, you can’t please everyone. That’s life. Please feel free to engage and chat in future, even mail me on [email protected] always like to chat about sport.
      Yours sincerely — Mark Etheridge (Managing Editor: Road to London 2012 magazine and website)

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