Another Le Clos show, while Mokoena eyes gold

2012-08-04 08:14

As Chad le Clos picked up his second medal of the Olympic Games last night, Khotso Mokoena cheered up a rather sombre mood in athletics with an 8.02m leap into the final.

Le Clos won silver in the men’s 100m butterfly final in 51.44 in a race that was won by US great Michael Phelps (51.21).

The South African clinched gold in the 200m fly on Day 3 and he was again in his element as his latest offering increased Team SA’s tally to four medals.

Le Clos and Mokoena made up for a wrong start in the track after 400m hurdlers LJ van Zyl and Cornel Fredericks had bombed out in the first round during the morning session. Van Zyl finished sixth in 50.31 while Fredericks was last (8th) in his heat in 52.29.

Mokoena was all smiles after his final attempt catapulted him into his second straight Olympic final.

“This year is a nice way to make a comeback and I’ll fight tomorrow,” said Mokoena, who recorded a no jump in his first attempt and followed up with 7.81m and closed with 8.02m.

He is ranked 5th in the 12-man list that qualified for the final. He said: “The Olympic gold is quite open. We’re all in there with a difference of about 6cm. I’m in super shape. I’m hoping for gold ... My coach (Hansie Coetzee) and I were preparing more for tomorrow than today”.

Mokoena said he was a bit tense since he hadn’t been at a championship for some time, since his last competition at the African Championships in June last year.

“I had a bit of pressure after the first jump and the second one was not good either. But the nature of the game to be tense. I knew I was going to get it.”

Mokoena said he didn’t have the same moment at the world championships in Daegu, South Korea, where he failed to make the final. “The run up was good and my running was quite strong - tomorrow will be a different day,” he said.

Team SA on Day 7 at a glance:
Men’s 50m freestyle: Roland Schoeman finished 6th (21.80) during the final

Women’s 50m freestyle: Trudi Maree failed to progress after she finished 8th (25.78) during the heats.

Men’s 1 500m freestyle: Herman Heerden came 6th in 15.25.71 and could not progress.

Men’s 4x100m relay: Cameron van der Burgh, Chad le Clos, Charl Crous and Leith Shankland missed out a berth in the final following their low ranking at 7th place (3:35.23)

Hockey (Men)
SA lost 3-2 to Spain.

Who to watch on Day 8
Men’s 400m round 1: Oscar Pistorius (11.35am)
Men’s long jump final: Khotso Mokoena (from 8.55pm SA time)

Hockey (Women)
SA vs Australia (9.30am)

Cycling (Track)
Men’s sprint qualifying: Bernard Esterhuizen (11am)

Men’s 470 round 5 and 6: Asenathi Jim, Roger Hudson (from 3pm)

Kate Roberts, Gillian Sanders (from 10am)

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