mokoena is back in pit

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Beijing Olympics silver medallist, long jumper Khotso "Crocodile" Mokoena, will be back in the public eye in the first leg of the Yellow Pages Athletics Series in Potchefstroom, North West on Friday night.

The event will be held at Puk McArthur Stadium, starting at 6pm.

It will be Mokoena's first meeting after saving South Africa from complete humiliation by winning Team SA's only medal in Beijing in August.

Speaking to Sowetan yesterday the talented long jumper said it would not be all about winning in Potchefstroom, but about preparing himself for coming international events.

That includes the London Olympics in 2012, where he will also compete in the triple jump.

"It will not only be my first meeting for 2009 on Friday but for everybody and it will be tough out there based on the thorough preparations we made during the festive season," Mokoena said.

He wants to compete in four of the six legs of the popular series before taking part in the highly anticipated and competitive IAAF World Championships in Berlin in August.

His intention is also to participate in the IAAF Grand Prix later in the year.

Mokoena's camp said the adored athlete was eager to put the Olympics behind him and use the Potchefstroom meeting to get back into the swing of things.

Mokoena will compete against the likes of Boipelo Motlhatlego, Kyle Ford, Stephen Brits and Tumelo Thagane.

His other competitors will be the two Brits, Jonathan More and Nathan Douglas, who are in the country to train because it is winter in their country.

Ockert Cilliers and Alwyn Myburg are the favourites to steal the limelight in the 400m hurdles, while Louis "LJ" van Zyl should do the same in the 800m.

Athletics SA urged the people of Potchefstroom and surrounding areas yesterday to come to the meet in numbers to root for the athletes.