Se­menya not rest­ing up af­ter record run

Afro Voice (KwaZulu Natal) - - Sport - NEVILLE KHOZA nevillek@the­newage.co.za

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.”

PIC­TURE: GALLO IMAGES

HIGHLY MO­TI­VATED: SA’s star ath­lete Caster Se­menya.

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