Athletics

Caster gives Zola Budd's record a shake

Caster Semenya (Getty Images)
Caster Semenya (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Returning to action after a six-week hiatus from the track, Caster Semenya charged to an impressive victory at the European Outdoor Classic meeting in Montreuil, France on Tuesday night.

Competing in her first race since she won the women's 800m battle at the IAAF World Athletics Diamond League meeting in Doha last month, Semenya coasted home in 5:38.19 to win the women's 2 000m contest in Montreuil, narrowly missing out on the South African record.

Semenya, who already held national records over every distance from 400m to 1 500m, crossed the line inches shy of the SA 2 000m mark of 5:38.07 which was set by Zola Budd in Cape Town in April 1991.

Though Budd clocked 5:33.15 in London in July 1984, she was representing Great Britain at the time.

Semenya, who has been given the green light to participate in middle-distance events until June 25 while an ongoing appeal against international gender rules is heard in Swiss courts, is expected to compete again in the 3 000m race at the World Athletics Diamond League meeting in Stanford, United States on June 30.

"This is a good platform for her preparation for the 3000m at the Diamond League and it also keeps the world aware that she remains in top form and very much competitive," said Aleck Skhosana, the President of Athletics South Africa.

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