Another silver for Khotso | SASCOC - SASCOC

Another silver for Khotso

By Mark Etheridge

Khotso Mokoena, Olympic and World Championship long jump silver medallist, continues to deliver when it counts — the South African taking yet another silver medal, this time at the World Indoor track and field championships in Doha, Qatar on Saturday.

Defending champion Mokoena left his best to last with the medal performance of 8.08 metres coming with his sixth and final leap.

Winner was Mauritian-born Australian Fabrice Lapierre with an 8.17m effort, also with his last effort, while Aussie Mitchell Watt took bronze in 8.05.

Mokoena went into the championships somewhat underdone after an injury-hampered season and it showed as he struggled to get into a rhythmn.

He had two no-jumps to go with efforts of 7.86, 7.76 and 7.90 before the 8.08 that did the job.

Earlier Beijing Olympic 1500m finalist Juan van Deventer failed to medal in the indoor final as he finished sixth in 3min 43.77sec.

The gold medal went to Deresse Mekonnen, the Ethiopian clocking 3:41.86 to beat Moroccan Abealaati Iquider by 0.10sec. Kenyan Haron Keitany took bronze in 3:42.32.

Gauteng’s Rene Kalmer was part of a historic women’s 3000m final as Ethiopian sensation Meseret Defar became the first woman in history to win four consecutive indoor 3,000m titles.

Kalmer, who plans to focus on the marathon at the 2012 Olympics in London, led through the 1000m mark in 3:11.83 before fading to ninth in 9:04.11 as Defar clocked 8:51.17.

Cape Town’s Janice Josephs failed to make the final of the women’s long jump with an unspectacular 6.02 first effort and then her last two attempts of 5.86 and 5.69 also failed to bother the 6m mark.

At the last World Indoor Championships in Valencia, a 6.51m personal best saw her qualify for the final but on this occasion she was just one spot up from the bottom rung in qualifying after Brazil’s Elian Martins failed to record a legal jump.

Highlights of the second day’s action at the Aspire Dome included British veteran Dwain Chambers’ victory in the 60m sprint final in 6.48sec while Lolo Jones was a popular winner in the women’s 60m hurdles, clocking 7.72sec in a near-perfect display of hurdling.