Mokoena tired of being second best
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South African world long jump silver medallist Khotso Mokoena is tired of being second best and said on Sunday that he is hell-bent on winning gold at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea later this year.
“It is going to be tough I must say, but I am pretty sure I stand a very good chance to take it,” said Mokoena.
“I will, if I continue the way I’ve started yesterday (Saturday).”
“It is my dream (to win gold) and I am tired of winning silver.”
The South African champ leapt to a season’s best 8.31m at the Diamond League, Prefontaine Classic meeting in Eugene, Oregan on Saturday.
Mokoena was the leader and the only athlete to jump over eight metres up until the third round.
Despite this being his best jump of the year Mokoena only managed a second place with Briton Greg Rutherford taking the spoils with a 8.32m jump.
The lanky South African can take confidence in consistently leaping over eight metres.
“I was happy with my performance as we have a long season ahead,” said Mokoena.
“I am glad to be back strong after I missed the whole of last year due to injuries.”
He said the late start to his season may be a blessing in disguise for his preparations for the worlds.
“The Worlds are later this year so it is better to start late with my build-up,” he said.
This meeting was only his third of the year and he said he hoped to gradually improve and rack up more jumps before the world championships.
At the same meeting South African 800m women’s world champion Caster Semenya dipped below two minutes in the 800m to finish second in the field clocking 1:58.88.
The 20-year-old was beaten to the line by Kenia Sinclair of Jamaica who clocked a time of 1:58.29.
Semenya subsequently recorded her season’s best run and sent a warning to her adversaries that her best is yet to come.
She came up against the toughest field since she won the gold medal at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin.
The field included 2007 world champion Janeth Jepkosgei and Olympic gold medallist Pamela Jelimo.
Meanwhile SA and African javelin record holder Sunette Viljoen could not find her rhythm in the women’s javelin – only managing a best throw of 60.09m.
Her best heave was good enough to give her fifth place.
Double amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius had a disappointing run in the 400m, finishing in eighth place clocking 46.33 against a quality field. –Sapa