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Veteran Khotso Mokoena retires on sport as Van Zyl soldiers on


LJ VAN Zyl kept his Olympic dream alive at the Rio Games yesterday morning as he advanced past the 400m hurdles heats and into tonight's semifinals.

LJ VAN Zyl kept his Olympic dream alive at the Rio Games yesterday morning as he advanced past the 400m hurdles heats and into tonight's semifinals.
But there were casualties elsewhere in the stadium, most notably four-Games veteran Khotso Mokoena, who failed to progress beyond the qualifying round of the triple jump and promptly announced his retirement.
Yesterday, the old lion faded tamely, managing a best of just 16.51m, nine spots and 10cm outside the top 12 he needed to make the final.
"I'm done now. It's time for me to hang up the spikes and just move on," said Mokoena, adding he might finish off with a couple of small meets in Europe before the end of the season.
Mokoena was on the verge of retiring in 2013, but after getting a new coach, Emmarie Fouche, he had a milestone 2014, winning the Diamond League long-jump race, breaking the SA triple jump record and winning the Commonwealth Games triple jump.
Yesterday that form wasn't evident.
"I felt good. It was just unfortunate I was not able to pull it though. I'm happy, I can just walk away."
Alyssa Conley and Justine Palframan both failed to advance past the women's 200m heats.
In the men's 400m hurdles, Van Zyl was the only one of the three South Africans there to progress.
Kenya's world champion Nicholas Bett was disqualified after a clumsy hurdling display
Khabza Mkhize

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