Caster jou lekker ding
LONDON: Caster Semenya produced her customary surge at the end of the women’s 800m final to collect the gold medal on the final night of the IAAF World Championships in a time of one minute, 55.16 seconds (1:55.16).
The South African shaved 0.11sec off her previous best she posted at the Monaco Diamond League last month, winning the country’s sixth medal of the biennial global showpiece.
London 2017 represented South Africa’s best performances at the championships with three gold, a silver, and two bronze medals.
Semenya was responsible for two of the medals, adding the two-lap gold to the bronze she won in the 1 500m.
Sprint sensation Wayde van Niekerk also won a double at the championships with his 400m gold and 200m silver medal, with the team improving on the 2003 championship tally of two gold, a silver, and a bronze.
Semenya produced her trademark kick albeit a bit later than usual as Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba and Ajee Wilson of the US took out the lead.
Instead of making her move at 600m, Semenya surged in the final straight, crossing the line well ahead of her challengers.
At the bell, the South Africa bided her time in the middle
Semenya produced her trademark kick albeit a little later than usual
of the pack lying in fifth place with Niyonsaba and Wilson taking the initiative.
Niyonsaba finished in second place in a time of 1:55.99 with Wilson bagging bronze in 1:56.65.
Crossing the line in first place represented Semenya’s coming of age, winning the title eight years after she won her two-lap gold medal at Berlin 2009.
It was also an apt return to the stadium where she finished second behind now disgraced Russian Mariya Savinova at the 2012 London Olympics.
It was technically Semenya’s third world title after the Court of Arbitration of Sport imposed a four-year ban in February, stripping Savinova of the gold medals she won at London 2012 and the 2011 world championships.
Semenya, who finished second behind Savinova in both races, is in line to be upgraded from silver to gold pending the Russian’s appeal.
Should the decision be upheld it would tie Semenya with her former coach Maria Mutola on the all-time world championships honours board.
The 26-year-old Semenya came into the championships as the resounding favourite with 18 consecutive victories in as many finals behind her name.
In the process, she won a rare 800m-1 500m gold-bronze double, achieving a similar feat to that of Russia’s Svetlana Masterkova at the 1999 world championships in Seville, Spain.