Caster Semenya Charges Home In 5000m, Followed By Scott
Caster Semenya decided to move up in distance, taking on the 1500m and 5000m at the 2019 Sizwe Medical Fund & 3SixtyLife ASA Senior Track & Field and Combined Events Championships at the Germiston Athletics Stadium on Thursday 25 April.
The championships were delayed earlier in the day due to fierce thunderstorms, but once the action commenced again at 11h00 the focus was on Caster Semenya as she lined up in the 1500m heats. Easily dominating and leading from the front, Semenya cruised to victory in heat one in a time of 4:30.65 to book her place in the finals on Friday 26 April at 19h45.
Semenya then lined up in only her second ever competitive 5000m race and again dominated, despite a late attack by US-based Dominique Scott-Efurd. Semenya took control in the early laps of the race, with Scott-Efurd dogging her every step. At the bell, Scott-Efurd attacked and forged ahead. Semenya though, was not going to let her maiden 5000m title slide and surged back to the front down the back straight to ease away for a comfortable victory, crossing the line in 16:05.97. Scott-Efurd came home in 16:13.71 with Kesa Molotsane rounding out the podium in 16:25.23.
Wayde van Niekerk withdrew from the Championships in order to protect his knee. The world 400m record holder is confident of his return to top flight competition and has only one goal in mind. “It is all about the 42 target. I am disappointed about not competing here today, but with the weather being inclement, we thought it was wiser not to take any chances. My recovery is going well and I would like to be back in competition this year, but will only do so if I can deliver a good performance. I am a competitor and respect my opponents, so I need to be at my best when I return.”