Semenya comfy in her special event

2011-04-30 16:56

World 800m champion Caster Semenya secured her third gold medal with a convincing victory in her specialist event on day two of the SA Student Athletics Championships in Stellenbosch yesterday.

Semenya dragged the field through the first lap in the women’s 800m final, with Juanee Cilliers and Mandi Brandt fighting to stay in touch. However, the 20-year-old pulled clear to win by more than two seconds in 2:02.52.

Brandt secured silver in 2:04.65 and Cilliers held on for bronze in 2:06.38.

On Friday Semenya won the 1?500 in 4:22.64 and then clocked 53.18 seconds in the 400 final in Stellenbosch, the town where she was prevented from competing a year ago during her gender dispute.

Representing the University of Pretoria, Semenya was nearly 10 seconds slower than the 4:12.93 she ran to win the 1?500 at the South African nationals this month.

In March last year Semenya was blocked from running at a meet in Stellenbosch, near Cape Town, while the IAAF reviewed the results of gender tests she underwent at the 2009 world championships. She was cleared to run by the world athletics body in July.

She was set to compete in the women’s 4x400m relay later in the afternoon in a bid for her fourth gold medal of the championships.

Semenya went undefeated over 400m and 800m in her first domestic season in two years and said she would now take a month-long break.

She will return to the track at an IAAF World Challenge meeting in Dakar, Senegal, on May 28 when she starts her build-up to the defence of her title at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, in August

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