Khotso Mokoena leaps into the world champs final

khotso mokoena1 Khotso Mokoena leaps into the world champs final

Long jumper Khotso Mokoena and 1 500m runner Johan Cronje gave Team SA a positive start on Day 5 of the ongoing IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia.

Mokoena brought his experience to the fore when he made his last attempt count with a jump of 8.16m to clinch an automatic berth in the final.

“Croc” posted a 7.68m mark in his first attempt and followed up with 7.96m before the magical leap to finish second overall this morning.

But things did not go according to the script for SA long jump champion Zarck Visser.

He finished tenth with a best jump of 7.79m and one no jump, and, as a result, his marks were not good enough to even make it as one of the best 12 performers for the remaining final berths.

The long jump final, as well as the 1 500m semifinals, will take place on Friday.

Meanwhile, SA 1 500m record holder Cronje finished fourth in the heats for an automatic spot in the semifinals after he clocked 3:39.95.

In the 50km race walk final, African record holder Marc Mundell’s attempt for a medal fell way too short after he finished just outside the top 30.

At one point, he moved up 14 places – from 49th place after the 35km mark – to 35th with less than 10km remaining, and eventually went up to 34th.

Mundell finished 32nd at the Olympic Games last year with a continental record time of 3:55:32.

» Other South Africans who advanced to the next stages of their respective disciplines this week are Cornel Fredericks, who will line up in the 400m hurdles semifinals tomorrow, and mid-distance star Elroy Gelant in the 5 000m final on Friday.

» Read City Press newspaper on Sunday for more on Team SA at the IAAF World Championships

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