SA records fall at Doha Diamond League

Caster Semenya (AP)
Caster Semenya (AP)

Cape Town - Caster Semenya and Carina Horn were in spectacular form on Friday evening, with both athletes producing historic performances at the opening leg of the IAAF Diamond League series in Doha, Qatar.

Semenya burst clear of the rest of the field down the home straight to win the 1 500m women race in 3:59.92*, more than a second ahead of her nearest opponent.

She became the first South African woman to dip under four minutes in the event, bettering her own national record of 4:00.71.

"It's always been a dream to set the national record and continue to push beyond my personal best," Semenya said. 

"I think we definitely achieved what we came here for."

Horn was equally impressive by her own standards, smashing the 11-second barrier to take fifth place in the 100m women sprint in 10.98*.

She improved her own previous SA record of 11.03.

Former Commonwealth Games champion, Cornel Fredericks took fifth spot in the 400m men hurdles race, clocking 50.03, while former Olympic long jump silver medallist Khotso Mokoena ended sixth in the triple jump men contest with a 16.92m effort.

Pieter Conradie struggled to find his best form in the 400m men sprint and he settled for eighth position in 46.68.

"We congratulate our athletes and coaches for the good start of the Diamond League and look forward to better performances in the near future," sad Aleck Skhosana, President of Athletics South Africa.

The next leg of the IAAF Diamond League series will be held in Shanghai, China on Saturday, May 12.

*SA records subject to standard ratification processes.

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