Glasgow – Despite claiming gold in the men's triple jump on Saturday at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, South African Khotso Mokoena says he is not in great shape.
Mokoena paid tribute to coach Emmarie Fouche after his victory.
“To be frank I'm not in shape at all, but Emmarie, was able to sharpen me to get me to this level, which is awesome,” said Mokoena, who produced a leap of 17.20 metres, a season's best, with his second attempt.
Mokoena met Fouche, who also coaches long jump athlete Zarck Visser, in Finland in October last year.
“He's definitely not in his best shape yet,” said Fouche.
The distance was also just five centimetres shy of his personal best in the discipline.
His third round jump dropped to 16.99m after which he sat out the next two jumps.
“I was in the lead, it was cold and wet. It's easy to get injured so I sat out until the last jump,” said Mokoena.
“These games are like the baby to the Olympic games, this medal means a lot to me,” said Mokoena who opted for long jump in 2007 until the return this year.
Mokoena said he had renewed motivation for the sport, a key factor in his triumph.
“I looked at Dwight Phillips who was still able to jump 8.6m at the age of 32 and 33. Now I'm back and hungry again.
“I didn't expect to jump 17 metres this year.” – Sapa