Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
Event: Men’s Long Jump, Triple Jump
Date of birth: 1985/03/06
Personal bests: Long Jump (8.50m, SA record), Triple Jump (17.35m, SA record)
Long Jump: 2004 World Junior Championships, Grosseto (2nd, final); 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing (2nd, final); 2008 World Indoor Championships, Valencia (1st, final); 2009 World Championships, Berlin (2nd, final); 2010 World Indoor Championships, Doha (2nd, final)
Triple Jump: 2004 World Junior Championships, Grosseto (1st, final); 2006 Commonwealth Games, Melbourne (2nd, final); 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow (1st, final); 2014 Continental Cup, Marrakech (2nd, final)
Perennial championship medalist Khotso Mokoena was South Africa’s saving grace at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, bagging the country’s only medal with silver in the men’s long jump final.
He had first risen to prominence with gold in the triple jump and silver in the long jump at the 2004 World Junior Championships in Grosseto.
Two years later he clinched triple jump silver at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, before turning his focus to the single-leap discipline.
In 2008, in the build-up to the Olympics, he proved he had made the right decision to drop the hop-skip-and-jump when he won his maiden global senior title at the World Indoor Championships in Valencia.
The next year he set the SA record of 8.50m in Madrid before securing silver at the outdoor World Championships in Berlin, and the following season he again bagged the silver medal at the indoor showpiece in Doha.
Mokoena struggled to reach his best form between 2011 and 2013, but ‘Crocodile’, as he is known, re-incorporated the triple jump to his regime with immediate success in 2014.
He became the first South African athlete to win the Diamond League series in any discipline, earning the overall victory in the points race in the single-leap discipline.
Capping a superb season, he grabbed the silver medal at the Continental Cup in Marrakech, launching a 17.35m effort to smash his own nine-year-old SA triple jump mark.
One of South Africa’s most versatile athletes, Mokoena placed fifth in the high jump final at the 2001 World Youth Championships, and he is considering attempting a double in the long and triple jump events at the 2016 Rio Olympics.