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Khotso in Qatar
- Updated: March 12, 2010
A team of five will fly the flag in the IAAF World Indoor track and field championships, starting Friday in Doha, Qatar and ending on Sunday.
The team will be spearheaded by Beijing Olympic and Berlin World Championships long jump silver medallist Khotso Mokoena.
Also in the line-up are Olympic 1500m finalist, the in-form Juan van Deventer. He’ll be joined in the middle-distance showdown by Peter van der Westhuizen.
The female contingent of the team is made up of African long jump┬áchampion Janice Josephs and multiple SA road running champion and 1,500m Olympian Rene Kalmer.
Mokoena, who performed his best┬ánon-wind aided┬ájump of the season, a 7.93m leap, in the Yellow Pages Series meeting┬áin Potchefstroom last week,┬áis also in good shape.
ÔÇ£I am definitely ready for World Indoor Champs. Once again, I am hoping to make my country proud,ÔÇØ explains Mokoena.
Certainly Mokoena represents a good chance of being on the podium and has consistently proved over the years that he has the mental strength in big competitions.
He won gold at the last indoor championships in Valencia, Spain and the only doubt leading into these championships is that his season has not started as smoothly as he would have liked, due to injury.
Kalmer and Van Deventer both showed fine form on the European indoor circuit leading up to world championships.
Last month Kalmer clocked a quick 3000m in Stuttgart when she ran 9min 2.92sec, breaking the 19-year-old South African record was set by Michelle Dekkers (9:07.87) in Indianapolis way back in 1990
Van Deventer┬áimproved the national indoor 3000m record to 7:49.91 when he won in Moscow – four days after a national indoor 1500m record of 3:37.25 in Dusseldorf, Germany. He went on to improve the metric mile record by 0.29 seconds a week later.
Janice Josephs will be competing against the likes of American Brittney Reese, Sostene Moguenara of Germany and Naide Gomes of Portugal.
Van Deventer, Van der Westhuizen, Kalmer and Mokoena will all be in action in Friday’s heats.
Former Commonwealth silver medallist Geraldine Pillay, presently part of the Athletics South African interim board, will manage the team in Doha.