mokoena and coach reunite

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

South African jumper Khotso "Crocodile" Mokoena has reunited with his former teacher and longtime coach Elna de Beer after four years.

"It is true that we are working together again and I'm happy to have Elna back in my athletics career," said Mokoena yesterday.

"There was no problem between Elna and myself. The problem is that I went to further my studies at the University of North West in Potchefstroom.

"It was just not possible because of distance for us to spend quality time trying to improve my jumping techniques because of my studies.

"Now that I'm back in Gauteng, and Pretoria to be precise, it's easier for her to be with me at training on a regular basis.

"We are now preparing ourselves for the Yellow Pages South African track and field championships in Stellenbosch this weekend.

"For now the focus is on long jump in the build-up to the World Championships in Germany in August, triple jump is still very much part of my athletics career.

"There are no plans for now to compete in triple jump," said Mokoena, who remains the same cultured youngster despite his meteoric rise to fame and fortune.

De Beer, a teacher at a high school in Ekurhuleni, is credited with fine-tuning Mokoena, 24, into one of the best long and triple jumpers in the world.

She started working with Mokoena, who is now 1,9m tall, when he was 13 after switching from basketball to athletics.

Mokoena rewrote the South African record books with multiple youth, junior and senior records in long and high jump between 2002 and 2008.

De Beer could not be reached for comment.