Can Caster do it? The world record is within her reach, expert says

By Hilda Van Dyk
17 August 2016



The current world record in the women’s 800 m is definitely within Caster Semenya’s grasp, says the sport commentator Arnold Geerdts.

UPDATE: Caster came first in her 800 m heat, in a time of 1:59.31.

“Caster will have to overcome her mental hurdle,” he says. “Physically, there’s no one who can beat Caster. It’s just that psychological aspect which can hamper her. Four years ago at the London Games Caster was well placed to win gold. She just ran slower, which shows she’s feeling the pressure of everything that’s happened to her.

Caster did everything expected of her. She even underwent the hormone treatments – which couldn’t have been easy. There’s nothing more she can do. If she can manage to forget about everything and everyone and just run, the world record is within her reach.”

The world record in the women’s 800 m was set in 1983 at the World Championships by the Czech athlete Jarmila Kratochvilova (now 65). Geerdts says Jamila “looked and ran like a man – moreso than anything I’ve seen in my life”.

Watch the video of Jarmila's world record:

Caster ran the 800 m in 1:55.33 last month at the Diamond League championship in Monaco. It’s the fastest time in the world the past three years. It’s also her personal best in this specific event.

Here's a video of Caster's personal best.

Will South Africa’s golden girl bring home the medal? The semi-finals for the 800 m are on Friday at 02.15 am (SA time). The final is set to take place this Sunday, also at 02.15 am local time.

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