All eyes on Pistorius after Mokoena fails in London
SOUTH African long-jumper Khotso Mokoena could not repeat his silver-medal performance from four years ago in Saturday's long-jump final at the London Olympic Games, finishing in eight place.
Mokoena, South Africa's only medallist at the 2008 Beijing games, recorded a best jump of 7.93m in the London final.
Meanwhile, Oscar Pistorius made history on Saturday, finishing second in his first-round heat in the men's 400m sprint to become the first amputee athlete to compete on the track at the Olympic Games.
Pistorius clocked 45.44, just 0.37 seconds off his personal best, to qualify automatically in the first of seven heats for Sunday night's semifinals in London.
Luguelin dos Santos of the Dominican Republic won the race in 45.04, with the top three in each heat going through to the second round.
After the disappointment of finishing last, Mokoena vowed he would bounce back at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games.
"These weren't my Olympic Games, but definitely not the last," he said. "I am happy to be here. It's another championship and you win some, you lose some. From here on, I just have to go back to the drawing board, fix a few things and come back stronger."
Mokoena struggled with his run-up rhythm throughout the evening and recorded four fouls out of his six jumps.
The 27-year-old advanced to the final in seventh place after Friday's qualifiers, with a best jump of 8.02m, but failed to get over the 8m mark on Saturday.
Only two men reached the automatic qualifying standard of 8.10m, with Marquise Goodwin of the US and Mauro Vinicius da Silva of Brazil jumping 8.11m.
Mokoena's first jump of 7.93m, in the final, placed him among the top in the field but he could not muster enough strength to catapult himself into the lead.
He fouled his next jump and, in his only other legal jump, he took a step backwards with a leap of 7.62m.
In front of a spirited and packed Olympic Stadium, Britain's Greg Rutherford was the deserved gold medallist with a leap of 8.31m.
Australia's Mitchell Watt finished second with 8.16m, while Will Claye of the US took the bronze medal, his jump measuring 8.12m.
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