Semenya return hinges on fitness

2010-12-07 15:02

Athlete Caster Semenya will return to the track in Cape Town this month, provided she passes a fitness test this week, she said today.

“I’m feeling better, but I’m still receiving treatment and I’m seeing a physio,” she said of the back injury which kept her out of the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in October.

“I don’t think I’m completely healed and I don’t know if it will be possible for my body to be ready.

Next year is a big year and I must be well prepared. I don’t want to mess up now.

It’s up to me, but I’ll see how my body feels this week.”

The 800m world champion could make her season debut at the Yellow Pages summer series meeting in Cape Town on December 18 – if she passes a fitness test in Pretoria.

“She will run a time trial before the end of the week, but it depends how healthy she is,” her coach, Michael Seme, said today in Midrand, where Semenya was named 2011 brand ambassador for Great Wall Motors.

“If she can run fast without any pain, and her body is okay, she will run in Cape Town,” he said.

Semenya said that if she was not yet ready to race this month, she would return to the track at the traditional Yellow Pages domestic series starting in Potchefstroom on February 19.

The 19-year-old has not competed since she clocked the fifth fastest 800m time of the year (1:58.16) to win a meeting in Milan in September.

This capped an impressive comeback after an 11-month hiatus because of a gender probe.

Semenya said her 2011 season would be geared towards defending her global two-lap title in Daegu in August, but she also hoped to run at the All Africa Games in Maputo in September.

Seme said his charge would race over either 600m or the mile if she competed in Cape Town, but he did not expect her to be anywhere near her best form.

“Nobody is in good shape right now. Everybody is doing long distance [pre-season] training,” he said.

“If she races there she will not be going for a fast time because it’s still early in the season and we will be testing her fitness.”

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