MOKOENA Godfrey < Back  
Sport Athletics
CGA South Africa   
Gender Men
Born 06 Mar 1985 in Ratanda, SAF
Height1.90 m
Human Interest
Further Personal Information
Family Son Setjhaba
Residence Johannesburg, RSA
Occupation Athlete, Businessperson
Languages English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? He was introduced to athletics at age 13 in South Africa.
Why this sport? His talent was noticed by Elna de Beer, a teacher and coach at Nigel High School in South Africa.
General Interest
Nicknames Croc [his family name translates as 'he who swears by a crocodile' in the Sesotho language]. (IAAF, 30 Apr 2013)
Memorable sporting achievement Winning silver medals in the long jump at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, and at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany. "I personally think 2009 was the big year for me rather than 2008. That silver meant I have collected all medals on offer from national, continental, and the world. That year made me start getting more recognition and that made me push for even more success." (newframe.com, 26 Sep 2020)
Most influential person in career His parents. (newframe.com, 26 Sep 2020)
Hero / Idol British triple jumper Jonathan Edwards, US triple jumper Mike Conley Sr., US long jumper Mike Powell. (spikes.iaaf.org, 25 Apr 2014; IAAF, 24 Jul 2009)
Sporting philosophy / motto "As an athlete I'm constantly pushing myself, embracing that animal instinct to go as far as I can. I think I'm half-man, half-croc." (IAAF, 30 Apr 2013)
Ambitions To compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (dailysun.co.za, 25 Nov 2018)
Other information RETIREMENT PLAN
He had originally planned to retire in 2020 but decided to extend his sporting career when the Olympic Games were postponed. "I have to prolong my career until 2021 and try to stay as healthy as I can. Whenever I close my eyes, I see myself taking part in my fifth Olympic Games and for that reason I won't stop until I fulfil my goal of going to Japan. I want to do Olympic number five and retire afterwards." (newframe.com, 26 Sep 2020; dailysun.co.za, 27 Jul 2020)

BUSINESSMAN
After winning silver in the long jump at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, he invested his bonus from the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee to start his own business and has founded companies across a range of sectors including logistics, advertising and property. He credits his parents for his entrepreneurial skills. "I always applaud my parents for not holding me back but they supported and guided me all the way. In this country we have had a number of failed sportspeople. I decided to invest in self-education and learn more about business. So, the reason I went to business was to prove a point that I'm more than just a sportsperson. Not to disappear in the process and die broke too. I have the drive to succeed and this income helps me feed my family in the absence of sports." (newframe.com, 26 Sep 2020; YDG Express Facebook page, 02 Sep 2020; dailysun.co.za, 27 Jul 2020; dailysun.co.za, 25 Nov 2018; timeslive.co.za, 27 Oct 2017)

SWITCHING DISCIPLINES
He competed in high jump at the 2001 World Youth Championships in Debrecen, Hungary, and the following year began participating in long jump and triple jump. In 2007 he quit triple jump after an ankle injury meant he could not take the force of doing the hop, step and jump, but returned to the discipline in 2014. "I actually missed the triple jump quite a lot. I love the event and never made a total disconnect. When I was younger I thought it would be the event to take me through my whole career." (newframe.com, 26 Sep 2020; spikes.iaaf.org, 25 Apr 2014; IAAF, 24 Jul 2009)