Caster still out with injury

2011-01-18 22:25

Wilhelm de Swardt

Pretoria – It is unclear when women’s 800m world champion Caster Semenya will participate in athletics again.

Semenya’s coach, Michael Seme, said on Tuesday that Semenya was training, but is still struggling with the lower back injury that prevented her from participating in last year’s Commonwealth Games in India.

“For me as coach it’s important that she does not take unnecessary risks. That is why we are waiting for the doctor treating her to say when she can start participating again,” he said.

“That is the reason that we have not yet decided in which Yellow Pages meetings she will participate.”

A fit Semenya is probably one of few local athletes in with a realistic chance of winning a medal for South Africa at the World Championship meeting in South Korea at the end of August.

She showed last year that she is not easily unnerved, following the announcement by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) that she may participate again.

Semenya ran the 800m in under 2 minutes on three occasions inside 8 weeks, in spite of being barred from participating for almost a year.

Only five athletes ran faster times than her best of 1:58.16.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s leading decathlon athlete, Willem Coertzen, is injury free at last.

He did not participate much last year because of a groin injury.

Coertzen improved the South African record three times in 2009. He earned 8149 points at the World Championships in Berlin.

“I can’t wait to start participating again. My first big event is going to be the South African senior meeting at Durban in April. After that I will participate in Europe.

“I would love to qualify for the World Championship meeting again. I will have to be at the top of my game to do that. The qualifying A-requirement has been increased to 8200 points.

“That means that I will have to improve my South African record if I want to participate in South Korea. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Meanwhile, Sascoc chief executive Tubby Reddy has said that the disciplinary hearing of suspended Athletics South Africa (ASA) president Leonard Chuene has been completed.

The findings of his hearing and that of other suspended officials should be made public by the end of the month.

It is only suspended ASA chief executive Molatelo Malehopo whose hearing has not been completed. Reddy said that Malehopo regularly comes up with new excuses as to why his hearing should not take place.