Caster Semenya: Nothing to prove

2014-02-23 10:00

South Africa’s 800m star Caster Semenya insists there is nothing to prove after a disappointing season last year.

The 23-year-old ran just four official races in the entire season after recovering from a knee injury.

Extensive rehabilitation after that delayed her return to the track since winning a silver medal at the London 2012 Olympics.

“There is nothing to prove,” said Semenya, whose major disappointment last year was her failure to qualify for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)

World Championships in Moscow, Russia.

She was 0.36?seconds outside the B-standard qualifying time for the competition after two attempts.

But the Tuks Athletics Club runner remains one of South Africa’s most successful athletes and the nation’s medal hopeful in her event.

Semenya is expected to return to the local track at the SA Senior Championships in April, with expectations she will also compete at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, from July 23 to August 3, as well as the African Championships in Morocco a week later.

“There’s nothing much to talk about at the moment because we are still in the process of planning for this year, which of course has many big events that any athlete will look forward to.

“It has just been normal training so far but I haven’t really planned for any specific event.” Semenya last featured on the home front when she retained her 800m title at the SA Senior Championships in Port Elizabeth in April 2012 but she surrendered her crown to rising star Gena Lofstrand of KwaZulu-Natal Athletics without competing at last year’s national championships.

Her anticipated return to the international scene will coincide with the reawakening of Kenya in the two-lap event.

Kenyan Eunice Jepkoech Sum is the reigning world champion in the 800m after her triumph at the global meeting in Moscow last year and the 25-year-old capped her year with the IAAF Diamond League title.

Sum ran the world’s second-fastest time (1:57.38) last year while Semenya’s season best of 1:58.92 – that won her the IAAF World Challenge in Rieti, Italy, in September – placed the South African

10th on the list.

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