I'm not in shape at all, says Khotso Mokoena

2014-08-04 09:19

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Despite claiming gold in the men’s triple jump on Saturday at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Khotso Mokoena says he is not in great shape.

Mokoena paid tribute to coach Emmarie Fouche after his victory.

“To be frank I’m not in shape at all, but Emmarie, was able to sharpen me to get me to this level, which is awesome,” said Mokoena, who produced a leap of 17.20m, a season’s best, with his second attempt.

Mokoena met Fouche, who also coaches long jump athlete Zarck Visser, in Finland in October last year.

“He’s definitely not in his best shape yet,” said Fouche.

The distance was also just 5cm shy of his personal best in the discipline.

Mokoena’s third-round jump at the Games dropped to 16.99m and he sat out the next two jumps.

“I was in the lead. It was cold and wet. It’s easy to get injured so I sat out until the last jump,” said Mokoena.

“These games are like the baby to the Olympic games. This medal means a lot to me,” said Mokoena, who competed in the long jump event from 2007 until his return to the triple jump event this year.

Mokoena said he had renewed motivation for the sport. This was a key factor in the triumph of the 29-year-old athlete.

“I looked at Dwight Phillips [a four-time world champion in the long jump], who was still able to jump 8.6m at the ages of 32 and 33. Now I’m back and hungry again.

“I didn’t expect to jump 17m this year.”

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