x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Semenya enjoys her Berlin return

Caster Semenya, the women's world 800-metres champion, ran a season-best time of 1 min 59.90secs to easily win her third comeback race.

Caster Semenya winning the women's 800m in Berlin yesterday. Out for 11 months because of gender testing, she broke the two-minute mark for the first time since her return in July.
Caster Semenya winning the women's 800m in Berlin yesterday. Out for 11 months because of gender testing, she broke the two-minute mark for the first time since her return in July.

Caster Semenya, the women's world 800-metres champion, ran a season-best time of 1 min 59.90secs to easily win her third comeback race yesterday as she rebuilds her career after her gender test ordeal. The 19-year-old South African was back at Berlin's Olympic Stadium, where she won her world crown last August, only for the sport's governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), to demand a gender test into her abnormally high levels of testosterone

Having only been cleared to race again last month, Semenya looked comfortable at the World Challenge meeting, her third since her comeback. She dipped below two minutes for the first time since her return. Semenya attacked in the last 100m and breezed past Cherono Koech of Kenya and Elisa Piccione Cusma of Italy, who finished second and third, respectively. Cherono ran a personal best of 2mins, 00.40secs.

"It feels good to be back in Berlin," the teenager said. "I did not think about everything that happened after my gold medal, I just concentrated on my race and my time. "My goal was to run under two minutes and I achieved that. "When I won the race, this brought back memories of the 2009 final for me. "After my training this year, I was a little disappointed with my competition results, but now I am happy as I can see progress.

"My next competition will be Brussels and after that I am looking forwards to the Commonwealth Games." Elsewhere in yesterday's action in Germany, Kenya's David Lekuta Rudisha set a world record of 1min, 41.09secs in the 800m. His time shaved two hundredths of a second off the previous best mark set by Denmark's Kenyan-born Wilson Kipketer in August 1997. "This was my first real attempt to break the world record, I knew I was good, I had trained hard," said Lekuta.

"Now that I have run that time, I can say I have the ability to improve and go faster. "I am very happy, it feels great to have the world record." * Agence France-Presse