Caster Semenya ready to reclaim title

2014-04-10 17:25

Former 800m world champion Caster Semenya is back on the domestic track to reclaim her national title at the SA Senior Track and Field Championships that will be held at the University of Pretoria tomorrow.

Semenya has not featured in the national champs since the 2012 London Olympics and surrendered her 800m crown, without defending it, to rising two-lap star Gena Lofstrand of KZN Athletics at last year’s event.

“I ran 2:04 at the provincial championships [three weeks ago] to qualify for the nationals,” said the Olympic silver medallist.

“The target is to improve my time at the SA champs which, by the way, will be run on my home ground [Tuks],” said the Tuks Athletics runner.

Semenya is among many hopefuls who will attempt to post times that will put them in good stead for the upcoming major international and continental events such as the Commonwealth Games and the African Championships later this year.

The Limpopo-born distance runner missed the IAAF World Championships in Russia last year after she had failed to qualify.

Another star attraction at the SA champs will be sprinter Simon Magakwe who will put his 100m and 200m titles on the line.

Magakwe opened his season in a time of 10:21 in the 100m and set a meeting record of 20:58 (200m) at the Perth Track Classic in Australia in February.

The joint SA 100m record holder, with a time of 10:06, said: “Weather permitting, I want to do something big at the SA champs.”

But he will have to look over his shoulder for Gideon Trotter, who recently ran 10:24, as well as rising sprinter Akani Simbine who is also the SA junior record holder.

The national champs will end on Saturday.

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