United States of America (USA) based triple jumper Goabaone Mosheleketi says it is his aim to defend the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) outdoor track and field triple jump championship and ultimately break the record.
The NAIA is an athletics programme that organizes college and university-level athletic competitions across the USA. Mosheleketi is currently partaking in the programme while studying Physical Education at Kentucky’s Lindsey Wilson College under the tutelage of Jamaine Gordon. This is Mosheleketi’s second sojourn to the US as he was once based in Texas from 2013 to 2015.
“I am working hard this season as I want to jump above the 16.50 mark and break the NAIA triple jump record. Surely, if I reach that target, I will at the same time defend my NAIA title,” asserted Mosheleketi in a telephonic interview with this publication from USA. The current NAIA triple jump record is held by US national, Carey Tyler with a jump 16.32.
The 24 year old Lobatse born lad claimed the NAIA triple jump title last year with a jump of 16.12 a performance that saw him becoming the 29th individual national champion at his college (Lindsey Wilson College) history and the seventh individual to capture a national title at the NAIA.
This year’s outdoor track and field national championships are scheduled for the 24-26 of May at Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium-Gulf Shores in USA.
Mosheleketi was part of the team that took part at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. He however failed to impress as he was eliminated in the first round with a jump of 15.74. “It was an exciting adventure to represent my country at that level but I was not impressed by the fact that I was the only jumper in the team,” he said. “I wish I was with another jumper as that could have somehow boosted my confidence.”
With a personal best of 16.12 in triple jump, Mosheleketi is arguably one of the best pit jumpers in Botswana. He won triple jump bronze at the 2011 African Junior Championships that were held in Gaborone. He took part in the 2012 Barcelona World Junior Championships where he managed to impress many USA-based colleges despite him not getting a medal.
He finished fourth in the long jump at the African Senior Championships held in Durban, South Africa in 2016 and it is yet to be seen if he will make part of this year’s African Championships team.