It’s light work for Caster in 800m semi

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - OCKERT DE VIL­LIERS

LOOK­ING TO bring South Africa’s cam­paign to a cli­mac­tic end, Caster Se­menya will at­tempt to be­come a dou­ble 800m gold medal­list in Sun­day’s fi­nal at the IAAF World Cham­pi­onships.

Se­menya made light work of her semi-fi­nal po­si­tion the fastest time of the three races clock­ing one minute, 58.90 sec­onds.

The 26-year-old looks set to add an­other gold to South Africa’s record medal haul at the world cham­pi­onships where the team has al­ready clinched two gold, a sil­ver, and two bronze medals.

She will be look­ing for a rare 800-1500m gold-bronze dou­ble at­tempt­ing a sim­i­lar at­tempt to that of Rus­sia’s Svet­lana Mastekova at the 1999 World Cham­pi­onships in Seville.

Svet­lana Masterkova of Rus­sia achieved a sim­i­lar feat at the 1999 World Cham­pi­onships in Seville where she won gold in the 1500m and bronze in the two-lap race. The South African has hardly been pushed over the past two years boast­ing a win­ning streak of 18 vic­to­ries in as many fi­nals.

The fi­nal prom­ises to be any­thing but a walk in the park for Se­menya with for­mer ju­nior world cham­pion Ajee Wil­son of the US emerg­ing as one of the chal­lengers. Wil­son re­cently posted a new per­sonal best of 1:55.61 at the Monaco Di­a­mond League meet­ing.

She won her semi-fi­nal in a time of 1:59.21 with 2015 world sil­ver medal­list Melissa Bishop also qual­i­fy­ing for the fi­nal.

In the fi­nal semi- fi­nal Olympic sil­ver and bronze medal­lists Francine Niyon­s­aba of Bu­rundi and Kenya’s Mar­garet Wam­bui also marched into the fi­nal in a slow and tac­ti­cal race.

Se­menya’s big­gest threat will come in the form of the diminu­tive Niyon­s­aba, who boasts the sec­ond fastest time this year with the 1:55.47 she posted in Monaco.

Se­menya’s for­mer train­ing part­ner Gena Lof­s­trand missed out on the fi­nal, fin­ish­ing last in her semi­fi­nal in 2:03.67.

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