Two-time Olympian long jumper Khotso Mokoena has qualified for this year’s IAAF World Athletics Championship in Moscow.
Competing at the Weitsprungmeeting der Weltklasse in Germany at the weekend, his winning jump was 8.30m.
This was definitely the former Olympic medallist’s best performance in quite a while and comes after a disappointing 7.70m in Rabat a week ago.
Mokoena managed to jump further than eight metres with three of his six jumps. His second best jump was measured at 8.28m, according to ZCMC agency.
Only three athletes have jumped further than Mokoena’s 8.30m so far this season.
Russia Aleksandr Menkov, with a distance of 8.39m, is currently the top-ranked long jumper.┬á Jinzhe Li from China’s best result so far was 8.34m, and Mauro da Silva from Brazil can boast with a best distance of 8.31m.
The athlete from the University of Pretoria’s high performance centre (HPC) had to dig deep for his victory on Saturday.
Germany’s Alan Camara saved his best for last with his jump of 8.29m. This put him in the lead by a mere centimetre.
However, Mokoena managed to keep his cool and with an almost perfect execution of his long-jump technique he managed to jump 8.30m to win.
Jukka H├ñrk├Ânen, his coach and agent, said afterwards: ÔÇ£He did great and I am a very happy old man.ÔÇØ
He confidently predicted that Mokoena is capable of jumping even further. ÔÇ£Just watch.┬á Khotso will now do more big jumps because there is no pressure on him to qualify for the World Championship any longer.
ÔÇ£We can now focus on new aspects without any pressure.ÔÇØ
According to H├ñrk├Ânen, a jump of 8.30m in Moscow could be enough to win a medal.
This weekend Mokoena will compete at the Diamond League Meeting in Birmingham.
H├ñrk├Ânen also indicated that Caster Semenya, Olympic silver medallist in the 800m, will begin to compete in Europe from next month.
Her injury woes seem to be something of the past. ÔÇ£We just have to decide where and when she will compete.ÔÇØ