Why Croc is in love with China

CityPress - - Sport - Mothowagae – Daniel

Khotso Mokoena is back in Bei­jing, the Chi­nese megac­ity where he won South Africa’s only medal at the 2008 Olympic Games.

“I love Bei­jing be­cause the Chi­nese know me very well and I en­joy it ev­ery year when I come to com­pete here and in Shang­hai [in the Diamond League meet­ings],” said the tall jumper, known to his peers as Crocodile.

“Win­ning sil­ver at the 2008 Olympics is the mo­ment I will for­ever cher­ish, and com­ing back to the same arena brings the same de­sire to be on the podium.”

This time the Croc is back at the Bird’s Nest on a two-pronged mis­sion, as he will com­pete in the long jump and the triple jump over a gru­elling four days.

“Not many ath­letes can do it at this level and win,” said Mokoena, re­fer­ring to his two-medal chase.

He is so far one of the few in the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion of jumpers to have won two medals in dif­fer­ent events at the same cham­pi­onships.

The reign­ing Diamond League cham­pion won gold in the triple jump and sil­ver in the long jump at the African Se­nior Cham­pi­onships in Morocco last year. Eleven years ago, Mokoena be­came the triple jump cham­pion and long jump run­ner-up at the 2004 Ju­nior World Cham­pi­onships in Italy.

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