Semenya not resting up after record run
SMASHING Zola Budd’s 34-year national record in the 1 500m of 4:00.71 at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games is something Caster Semenya will cherish for the rest of her life.
It was the longest standing record in South African track and field which was set by the barefooted runner in Port Elizabeth in March 1984 and for Semenya to break it with 4:01.80 at her first Commonwealth is something special.
Semenya was one of the standout performers for Team South Africa at the Commonwealth Games, winning gold in both the 1 500m and 800m.
“The records were the main plan for the season after running 4:02 from heat to final in the World Championships last year,” Semenya said.
“I knew that I was in shape to shave it. “The main plan was to go there and at least run at least 4:01sec and I was not expecting a faster race than that.
“It is amazing to break a 34-year-old record and being able to put your name to it is something I will always cherish.”
Despite all the achievements at the games, Semenya is still hungry for more honours.
“I think the main thing is now to go back to the basics, obviously health comes first. I need to be injury-free so I can be able to maintain my form throughout the season.
“But we, the coach and I, will just keep on what we have been doing from the beginning of the year.
At the moment, we are not worried, we need to try to work on my weaknesses so we can be better. It is all about improving and seeing the outcome after that.”
The 27 year old added that she will be working more on her speed as she prepares for international events which include the World Cup, the African Championships and Diamond League.
“As a middle distance runner, the main focus is speed, I ran Commonwealth without my best speed and we are going to work more on that.
“The 1500m it’s one of the events I looked to in previous years. It is not an easy race to run. You need to master your skills and to know when to kick.
“But we believe in what we do at training and I think we are ready to master these middle distances for the rest of the season.”
HIGHLY MOTIVATED: SA’s star athlete Caster Semenya.