Semenya Brings Home Bronze For Team SA!

Penelope Cairns |

On Monday night, Olympic 800-metre champion Caster Semenya took on a new challenge: the women’s 1 500-metre final at the IAAF World Championships in London.

Image from SABC Sport
Image from SABC Sport

On paper, the women’s 1 500-metre race was set to be one of the most competitive events at the IAAF World Championships. The formidable field included: reigning world champion and world-record holder, Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia; reigning Olympic champion, Faith Kipyegon of Kenya; this year’s fastest, Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands; the Olympic 800-metre champion, Caster Semenya; second-fastest in the field, Laura Muir of Great Britain; and three-time global medallist Jenny Simpson of the United States.

Semenya has raced the 1 500m only once this season, when she earned a victory at the USSA Championships in April (her time: 4.16). But in June 2016, she posted a personal-best time of 4:01.99 to win the African Championships, having never competed in the 1 500m at an international championship before.

The battle was on, and Semenya looked comfortable as she kept up with the pack. Kipyegon and Hassan attacked in the final lap with Muir following closely behind. Semenya waited for a long time to attack, possibly too long, and finished in third position with a dramatic dive in 4:02.90. Faith Kipyegon won the race in 4:02.59, followed by Jennifer Simpson in 4:02:76.

Semenya requested to be entered into the 1 500m, the 800m and the 4 x 400m relay pool. The athlete, undefeated in the 800m since September 2015, is aiming to be the first woman to earn medals in both the 800m and 1 500m at a world championship event, since Svetlana Masterkova (Russia) in 1999.

Caster’s Next Race: 800m

Heat: Thursday, 10 August (20:25)
Semi-Final: Friday, 11 August (20:35)
Final: Sunday, 13 August (21:10)

READ MORE ON: caster-semenya iaaf world champs

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