Why Croc is in love with China
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.