Khotso Mokoena

Long- and triple-jumper

Khotso, a long-and triplejumper, has hopped, skipped and jumped his way into South African history with his athletics exploits.

Having started out as a high jumper, he now specialises in long- and triple-jump, excelling in both disciplines. His first breakthrough at international level came with his silver (triple jump) and bronze (long jump) medals at the All Africa Games in Nigeria in 2003. Since then he has impressed both locally and internationally. In 2004, he became the first athlete in history to win medals in both long- (silver) and triple-jump (gold) at the World Junior Championships in Grosseto, Italy. Khotso (21) went on to represent South Africa at the 2004 Olympics, the 2005 World Championships and this year’s Commonwealth Games.

Khotso has had his fair share of bad luck when it comes to national records. He jumped 8,26m to break the South African long-jump record in April last year, but a tailwind meant the record could not be ratified. And when he broke it again a week later in Johannesburg, his record of 8,37m could again not be ratified because a metal tape measure was not used to measure the jump. In November he jumped 8,27m in Pretoria-a distance that now stands as the official national record. He also holds the national triplejump mark of 17 ,25m set last April.

Khotso studied sports management in Potchefstroom. He is taking a year’s break from his studies to work at a sports consulting company that encourages youth who are keen to make a career out of sport.

Lunch Spot: Wimpy