Caster won’t spec­u­late over world record at­tempt

Se­menya com­fort­ably runs to 800m ti­tle to add to her 1500m Games crown Pep fac­ing Uefa charges

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - OCKERT DE VIL­LIERS

WITH the sweet taste of her first 800-1500m dou­ble gold still lin­ger­ing, Caster Se­menya says she will be look­ing for a re­peat at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Se­menya be­came only the third fe­male ath­lete to win the dou­ble at the Com­mon­wealth Games, rac­ing to vic­tory in her spe­cial­ist two-lap event on Fri­day in a time of 1:56.68.

South Africa’s ‘Golden Girl’ added the 800m gold to the 1 500m ti­tle she won ear­lier in the week.

“For th­ese four years (Olympic cy­cle) the tar­get has been to dou­ble at each and ev­ery cham­pi­onship, we need to run at least four cham­pi­onships in dou­bles then de­cide if I still have the speed for the 800m,” Se­menya said.

“If I still have the speed in the 800m I will con­tinue but if not then I will go far­ther, you still have the 5 000m and the 10 000m.

“I be­lieve I can still do bet­ter in the fu­ture, I am still only 27 and when I do my long runs I feel I can feed into dis­tance run­ning.”

She was never both­ered in her two-lap race lead­ing from start to fin­ish go­ing through the bell in 58.66.

Peren­nial chal­lenger Mar­garet Wam­bui of Kenya was se­cond in 1:58.07 with Ja­maican Na­toya Goule third in 1:58.82.

Se­menya won her first ma­jor 1 500m ti­tle in style on Tues­day when she broke Zola Budd’s 34-year-old SA record with a time of 4:00.71.

The 27-year-old fol­lows in the foot­steps of Kenyan Lancy Lan­gat and Wales’ Kirsty Wade, who won both the 800m and 1500m ti­tles at the 2010 Delhi Games and in Ed­in­burgh 1986 re­spec­tively.

Se­menya claimed a rare 8001500m gold-bronze dou­ble at last year’s global cham­pi­onships in Lon­don re­peat­ing Rus­sia’s Svet­lana Masterkova feat from Seville 1999.

Show­ing su­perb early-sea­son form Se­menya said if she would go af­ter the 800m world record it would only hap­pen a bit later in the sea­son.

Her per­sonal best of 1:55.16 she posted at last year’s IAAF World Cham­pi­onships in Lon­don moved into eighth place on the world all-time per­form­ers’ list, edg­ing the South African closer to Czech Jarmila Kra­tochvilova’s global mark of 1:53.28 from 1983.

She also needs to chop an­other se­cond off her South African record to get close to Pamela Je­limo of Kenya’s con­ti­nen­tal record of 1:54.01.

“I can’t dis­cuss the world record, it is still early, it is still April,” Se­menya said. “If we talk about the world record, it will prob­a­bly be in three to four months from now, but I am not guar­an­teed of that.

“The world record is not that im­por­tant to me at the mo­ment but to win ev­ery race that I run, my idols have done that, and I just want to walk in their foot­steps.”

Se­menya said she would now turn her fo­cus to the Euro­pean sea­son and the African Cham­pi­onships where she was still un­de­cided whether she will dou­ble up again.

Mean­while, South Africa will have two more chances of adding sil­ver­ware to South Africa’s medal tally on the last day of the track and field events.

The South African 4x100m re­lay quar­tet of Akani Sim­bine, Hen­ri­cho Bru­in­tjies, Anaso Jo­bod­wana and Emile Eras­mus nearly fum­bled their chances of reach­ing to­day’s fi­nal.

The se­cond changeover be­tween Eras­mus and Jo­bod­wana nearly ended in tears when the lat­ter started run­ning too early.

In the end, Eras­mus had to stretch to get the ba­ton to Jo­bod­wana, who handed the ba­ton over newly crowned Com­mon­wealth 100m cham­pion Sim­bine.

Sim­bine had some ground to make up on Aus­tralian Josh Clarke but he man­aged to move past him to win the heat with a time of 38.71 to ad­vance to the fi­nal.

“Be­cause of a slight mis­un­der­stand­ing be­tween Anaso and me we lost a few valu- able hun­dredths of a se­cond in the changeover,” said Tuks sprinter Emile Eras­mus.

“We will work on it to­day. If we get that sorted, I am sure we will run a faster time in the fi­nal. It is amaz­ing to be in a re­lay-team with ‘okes’ who are so com­mit­ted to suc­ceed­ing. We all got one goal, and that is to win a medal for South Africa.

African javelin cham­pion Phil-Mar Janse van Rens­burg qual­i­fied for the fi­nal qual­i­fy­ing with a throw of 78.00m, two-and-a-half me­tres short of his per­sonal best.

GOLDEN GIRL: Caster Se­menya cel­e­brates her lead-from-the-start vic­tory in the 800m fi­nal yes­ter­day.

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