Take care of long jump, Mokoena urges ASA

Khotso to inspire Samaai after Olympics elimination

03 August 2021 - 09:37
By Charles Baloyi
Khotso Mokoena.
Image: Dan Mullan Khotso Mokoena.

SA long jump legend Khotso Mokoena is pleading with Athletics SA (ASA) to pay more attention to the long jump event.

Following Ruswahl Samaai's elimination in the long jump qualification rounds, Mokoena is calling for a change to rescue the event.

Mokoena also failed to qualify for the long jump final at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in Brazil in 2016 and he contemplated quitting the sport.

However, he changed his mind, and he is still going strong. At 36, he is training for the Commonwealth Games in England, next year.

“Our long jumpers have a long way to go. We need to pay more attention to them because, in the past championships they produced medals," he said. "The failure to get to the final on Sunday sparks concern in the long jump event. We did not even have representation in the triple jump. There is so much work to do before 2023.

"In 2016, 19 were good years for the long jump event, but the standard now seems to drop. Luvo [Manyonga] is serving a four-year suspension and we do not have many good jumpers in the country.

“Samaai did not have a bad season in Europe, but it was a different game at the Olympics. It is usual for him to want to quit. I also said in my interview that I wanted to leave the sport after I failed to make the finals in 2016, but three years later. I won the Diamond League title."

Mokoena has a personal relationship with Samaai. "I will speak words of encouragement to persuade him not to leave the sport," he said.