Mokoena starts tune-up for Olympics

TOUGH ASSIGNMENT: Long jumper Khotso Mokoena wants to bring back a medal from Holland. Pic. Mohau Mofokeng. 05/2008. © Sowetan.
TOUGH ASSIGNMENT: Long jumper Khotso Mokoena wants to bring back a medal from Holland. Pic. Mohau Mofokeng. 05/2008. © Sowetan.

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Top South African long jumper Khotso Mokoena begins his preparations for the Beijing Olympics in Holland on Saturday, where he will compete in the IAAF Grand Prix.

Mokoena, who won a gold medal at the World Indoor Championships in Spain last year, leaves for the Netherlands on Wednesday.

The likeable athlete also revealed that he would also take part in the six legs of the Golden League as part of his preparations for the Olympics.

This means that he will compete in the four legs of the Golden League before the quadrennial sporting fiesta in Beijing.

The first leg of the Golden League is billed for Berlin in Germany on June 1, the second will be in Olso, Norway, on June 6 and the third is scheduled for Rome, Italy, on July 11. His last appearance in the Golden League before the Olympics will be in Paris, France, on July 18.

"I will do everything possible to prepare myself for the Olympics because I really want to bring a medal back home from Beijing," Mokoena said.

He was speaking to Sowetan from the High Performance Centre in Pretoria where he was training at the weekend.

"It will not be easy in Beijing and one has to be ready mentally and physically for the challenges ahead. I don't have any doubt in my mind that competing in the Grand Prix and Golden League will sharpen me for the tough assignment in Beijing," said the 23-year-old athlete.

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