Mokoena good bet to bring medal home

BERLIN - Celebrated long jumper Khotso "Crocodile" Mokoena is among South Africa's medal hopefuls at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics. And South Africa's sole medalist at the Beijing Olympics has the gumption to achieve this feat.

BERLIN - Celebrated long jumper Khotso "Crocodile" Mokoena is among South Africa's medal hopefuls at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics. And South Africa's sole medalist at the Beijing Olympics has the gumption to achieve this feat.

Caster Semenya is another athlete who is widely tipped to claim a medal in the 800m tonight.

Mokoena begins his campaign in the long jump in the 12th instalment of the biennial event tomorrow, and he should advance to the final on Saturday.

Mbulaeni "Bullet" Mulaudzi, whose experience could lead him to the medal podium, also starts his 800m campaign tomorrow, hoping to qualify for the semifinals on Friday and the final on Sunday.

Mokoena, the gifted long jumper from Ratanda, Heidelberg, goes into the championships buoyed by his plucky performances in the Berlin qualifiers and preparatory meetings held around Europe recently.

He recorded a superb victory in the long jump at the City of Barcelona Athletics meeting in the Spanish Olympic Stadium on July 25.

Mokoena defeated tough contenders Brian Johnson of the United States by 20cm and Hussein Al Sabee of Saudi Arabia, who finished third.

He also chalked up an impressive victory in Ostrava, Czech Republic. These include winning the 48th Golden League Spike IAAF Grand Prix. The feat saw him clinch his third win on the trot in Europe.

He jumped to an 8,33m, beating Frenchman Sadim Sdiri by 14cm in Ostrava.

South Africans also have high expectations of Janice Josephs in the women's long jump which starts on Friday, with the final on Sunday.

The men's marathon team, which comprises Olympian Norman Dlomo, Johannes Kekana, Coolboy Ngamole, Enos Matalane and Lusapho April, looks solid but it will require enough poise from each South African to prevail on Sunday. The country will also have a sole representative in the women's section in adorable Tanith Maxwell.

l Mcelwa Nchabeleng is in Germany as a guest of IAAF

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