life a sandpit for Mokoena

KHOTSO Mokoena's second place at the International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in Berlin last year might have been overshadowed by the storm surrounding Caster Semenya's gender tests, but he hoisted the South African flag high in Germany.

The long-jump star took some time to let Sowetan in on what makes him tick.

Q: How old were you when you started developing an interest in sport?

A: I was quite young, probably around 12 years old. I had been doing ballroom dancing before, but my love for long jump took over. I competed with the likes of the Mtshali twins, Bongani and Siphiwe.

Q: Which sports were you into when you were growing up?

A: I enjoyed basketball a lot and (NBA stars) Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan were my heroes. Jordan in particular was the man.

Q: Who was your childhood hero?

A: My parents. They helped and supported me a lot. I always worked hard because I didn't want to disappoint them. I must also give praise to God because without Him I wouldn't be where I am today.

Q: What car do you drive?

A: I drive a BMW, but I really don't want to say which model (laughing).

Q: If money was not an issue, which car would you be driving?

A: It would be the Mercedez-Benz 500 coupé.

Q: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

A: It has to be Miami, there is no place that can compare with it.

Q: If you could choose between Michael Johnson and Usain Bolt, who would you choose?

A: Usain Bolt. He is still young and basically a better athlete in my opinion.

Q: If you could invite five famous people over for dinner, who would they be?

A: It would be Martin Lawrence, Rick Ross, Mike Powell, Angelina Jolie and Rihanna.

Q: If you could bring a famous person back from the dead, who would it be?

A: (laughing) I know you said one but I would bring back Martin Luther King and Steve Biko.

Q: Who are your all-time favourite musicians?

A: Gerald Levert, Keith Sweat and the O' Jays.

Q: What is your favorite song?

A: I Believe, by R Kelly.

Q: Who is your favorite actor?

A: Denzel Washington.

Q: What is your favourite movie?

A: The Taking of Pelham 123.

Q: Have you got a celebrity crush?

A: Amerie. She is a gorgeous woman!

Q: What do you know about global warming?

A: I only know that it means disaster.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?

A: I normally just stay at home and watch movies or read books.

Q: What is your favourite restaurant?

A: Piatto.

Q: Do you remember when you had your first kiss?

A: I know that it was in high school.

Q. Any embarrassing moments on or off the track?

A. Yes, it was during the 2003 All Africa Games in Nigeria when I fell flat on my face as I was taking off for a long jump.