Mokoena wins South Africa's first medal

Long jumper Khotso Mokoena grabbed SA’s first medal of the Beijing Olympics when he won silver in his event with a jump of 8,24m on Monday.

The gold medal was won by Irving Saladino of Panama (8,34m). Cuban Ibrahim Camejo’s sixth-round jump of 8,20 earned him the bronze medal.

The 23-year-old Mokoena hails from Heidelberg and holds the South African national record for long jump (8,39m) as well as triple jump (17,25m).

Saladino’s gold made up for his dismal showing in Athens four years ago when he failed to progress past the qualifying round.

Defending Olympic champion Dwight Phillips did not even make the team after failing to qualify from the United States trials. - Sapa, Reuters

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