Semenya Displays Stellar Form Ahead Of Rio Olympics
South African athlete Caster Semenya was an example to her fellow athletes at the 20th Confederation of African Athletes’ African Senior Championships in Durban over the last few days, winning all three of her events in preparation for the Rio Olympics.
Semenya, who will be amongst the South Africans expected to return from Brazil with a medal, was in scintillating form in all three of the races she took part in at the African Championships.
She won gold in the 800m, 1500m and the 4X400m relay, sending out a clear message to her opponents ahead of the games in August.
Her 1500m time of 4min 01.99sec was a new meet record and her third event time that means qualification for the Rio Olympics, after successfully qualifying for the 400m and 800m women’s events.
According to TimesLive, the 1500m time posted by the South African is faster than the winning times clocked at the last two world championships and the 2012 Olympics, meaning that if she decides to run the distance in Brazil she could be on course for a medal.
In her favoured 800m race the 25-year-old led from the start and clocked a time of 1:58.20 to win gold. She beat Morocco’s Malika Akkaouiu (2:00.24) and Kenya’s Emily Cherotich (2:00.70) to the top of the podium.
In the women’s 4x400m relay final, Semenya came from well behind in third place on the final leg to triumph, securing a new national record and the ninth fastest time of the year in the world at 3:28.49. This was accomplished alongside Wenda Nel, Jeanelle Griesel and Justine Palframan.
Semenya looking good ahead of Rio Olympics
The 2009 world 800m champion and London 2012 silver medallist was in a confident mood following the 1500m race, which she took part in to help her decide on potential additional events that she could add to itinerary at the Olympics.
“I was quite happy with the time, my rhythm is good, and I just need to go home, rest a bit and prepare for Europe,” said Semenya, according to SuperSport.
Commenting on her performance in the relay alongside team-mates Nel, Griesel and Palframan, Semenya emphasised the importance of working as a team.
“I was like a cobra and this race was fantastic, running against the best. Producing a performance like that was all about teamwork,” Semenya enthused.