South African Athletics

Caster: I'm on the right track

2015-05-09 18:30
Caster Semenya (Gallo)

Potchefstroom – South African 800m women’s ace Caster Semenya may not have attained the world qualifying standard at the SA Open in Potchefstroom on Saturday but was buoyant about her progress.

“I was quite happy, the girls ran a brave race, so credit to them,” Semenya said.

“We were aiming to go at a 59 seconds pace which we did but unfortunately we were unable to maintain it over the last 200 metres.

“I think I am on the right track but I just need to be patient and wait for the next race.”

The Olympic silver medallist posted a time of two minutes, 04.58 seconds (2:04.58) to miss the standard by just over three seconds.

Semenya looked slightly sluggish in the latter part of the race but still managed to cross the finish in first place ahead of Anuscha Nice with a time of 2:06042 and Mandie Brandt in third with 2:07.92.

The 24-year-old was making steady improvement shaving 0.47 seconds of her season’s best she posted at the national championships in Stellenbosch in April.

“I have to work more on my pace and shave four to five seconds off the time,” she said.

“The main aim is to get back to racing, get back in shape in my next four races in Europe.

“I just started to work on speed last week, so I am actually thrilled with the time after only two sessions.”

Semenya’s coach Jean Verster said she was justifiably lethargic after she completed a tough 10 days of racing where she had competed in 11 races at the SA Championships, the USSA Championships and the Varsity Athletics.

“I am actually quite happy and you can understand that she did not go quicker,” Verster said.

“She is in good shape, she just looked a bit sluggish today but we will get there.

“If she is rested she is close to two minutes or maybe under two-minute shape, her training shows that.”

Meanwhile, women’s 400m hurdles ace Wenda Nel continued her fine form on the track breaking through the 55-seconds barrier for the fifth time.

Her time of 54.90secs is the fastest so far this year overtaking Kendra Harrison of the United States with a time of 54.94.

She was followed by training partner Anneri Ebersohn in 57.72 and Jean-Mare Senekal in third with 58.75.

On Friday Nel came painstakingly close to adding the flat 400m to her repertoire for the world championships when she missed the qualifying standard by 0.09 seconds when she posted a time of 52.09 in her heat.

Commonwealth Games long jump silver medallist Zarck Visser made a successful return following a long injury layoff.

He won the event on Friday with a distance of 7.75 metres with Felix Maisey and Jason Farao taking second spot with both jumping 7.30m.

Read more on:    caster semenya  |  athletics

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