Mokoena leads the way | SASCOC - SASCOC

Mokoena leads the way

Khotso Mokoena led two fellow South Africans through to the finals of the IAAF World Indoor track and field championships in Doha, Qatar on Friday.

Mokoena, the reigning men’s indoor long jump champion, had been battling with injury in the early-season meetings, but was third in qualifying with a best of 7.95 metres.

In the track events, Rene Kalmer and Juan van Deventer both went through to their finals of the 3000m and 1500m events.

Kalmer has been rampant on the indoor scene in Europe and continued to impress, improving her own national indoor 3 000m record to 9min 01.41sec, as Van Deventer placed second in the first of three heats with a time of 3:40.07.

Multiple SA champion, Kalmer ended fourth in her heat, edging Britain’s Barbara Parker to make through to the final.

Back to Van Deventer who placed second behind Morocco’s Amine Laalou in 3:39.96. He always looked in control and his second spot gave him an automatic place in Saturday’s final.

It wasn’t that easy though for Peter van der Westhuizen in the 1500m. The US-based athlete had the bad fortune to be in a tough second heat and despite a battling penultimate lap, ghosted to sixth spot in 3:45.76 to end his championship.

The fifth member of the SA squad, Janice Josephs, will compete in the long jump qualifying round on Saturday.