Cape Town - Versatile jumper Khotso Mokoena will
make a lone South African appearance at the Bislett Games in Oslo on Thursday
night, as the IAAF Diamond League series reaches the halfway point with the
annual Norwegian meeting playing host to the seventh leg of the top-flight
Mokoena, a former world junior Triple Jump
champion and Olympic Long Jump silver medallist, will compete in the men's hop,
skip and jump.
Having already qualified for both
disciplines at the Rio Games in August, Mokoena has had a sedate start to the
season, and the other seven men in the Oslo Triple Jump line-up have all leaped
further than his 16.48m Season's Best.
The SA record holder, who boasts a
career best of 17.35m, will have a chance to approach his best form against a
world-class field which includes former world champions Nelson Evora of
Portugal and Teddy Tamgho of France.
While 400m Hurdles specialist LJ van
Zyl was also expected to compete in Oslo, he withdrew as a precautionary
measure after picking up a minor back injury.
Following a spectacular start to the
international season, SA athletes are well positioned in the Diamond League
races in their respective disciplines, with Caster Semenya (first, Women's
800m), Sunette Viljoen (second, women's Javelin Throw), Ruswahl Samaai (second,
Men's Long Jump) and Wayde van Niekerk (tied third, Men's 400m) all lying in
podium positions after six meetings in the series.
While none of these athletes will be in
action in Oslo, they will have multiple opportunities to improve their
standings in the second half of the campaign.
Mokoena will compete at 6.55pm (SA
time), ahead of the main programme for the meeting which starts at 8pm