Caster’s hec­tic run – Zurich, then Brus­sels

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

JO­HAN­NES­BURG: South African track phenom Caster Se­menya will have to con­tend with a hec­tic travel sched­ule if she wants to earn both the women’s 800m and 1500m Di­a­mond Tro­phies later this week.

She is look­ing to be­come the first fe­male ath­lete to be crowned over­all cham­pion of the se­ries in both events. But she will not only have to nav­i­gate past the best ath­letes in the re­spec­tive events but will have to get from Zurich to Brus­sels hours af­ter com­pet­ing in the Swiss city.

Or­gan­is­ers have sched­uled the two Di­a­mond League fi­nals a day af­ter each other mak­ing it an ob­sta­cle race for ath­letes like Se­menya.

The win­ner of each event will earn the Di­a­mond Tro­phy and a US$50,000 win­ner’s cash prize. So Se­menya could be walk­ing away with a good pay day if she man­ages to get onto the podium in both events.

She has jug­gled be­tween the 800m and the 1500m this sea­son in the Di­a­mond League while she has also raced the odd one-lap sprint.

The three-time world 800m cham­pion broke the na­tional 400m record at the African Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships in Nige­ria ear­lier this month chop­ping 0.09s off the mark Heide Sey­er­ling set in Syd­ney in 2000. In the process, she be­came the first woman in his­tory to dip be­low 50 sec­onds, two min­utes, and four min­utes in the 400m, 800m, and 1500m re­spec­tively.

Se­menya has been a dom­i­nant force in the two-lap event and would com­plete a three-year un­beaten run in the 800m should she win in Zurich. She posted the fourth fastest time of all time at the Paris meet in July with a new SA. record of 1min 54.25sec.

World cham­pion Luvo Many­onga tops the long jump stand­ings and will feel bullish about his chances of win­ning his sec­ond con­sec­u­tive Di­a­mond Tro­phy af­ter his meet record of 8.53m in Birm­ing­ham last week­end.

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