South African Athletics

'Extraordinary' 400m win for Semenya

2016-09-10 00:08
Caster Semenya wins gold at Rio 2016 (Getty)

Brussels - South Africa's Caster Semenya, Rio Olympic 800m gold medallist, pulled off an extraordinary victory in the women's 400m at the Brussels' Diamond League meeting on Friday.

Semenya recorded a personal best of 50.40 for the win that looked completely out of question after the first half of the race.

"It's fantastic!" said Semenya. "This is suicide! The 800m is much better, the 400m I do for speed."

The South African judged her finish to perfection to see off Courtney Okolo and a threatening pack of Rio finalists led by Jamaica's Olympic bronze medallist Shericka Jackson.

Semenya's compatriot, Luvo Manyonga, took the honours in the men's long jump with a leap of 8.48m.

Jamaica's double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson, meanwhile, brought the curtain down on a spectacular season with her 12th straight 100m victory.

In a thrilling night of track and field which featured a couple of botched world record attempts, the stand-out performance unexpectedly came from American pole vaulter Sandi Morris, who became only the second female in history to go over the 5m barrier outdoors after Russian Yelena Isinbayeva.

Although Morris's compatriot Jennifer Suhr has vaulted 5.03m, that was indoors, and the current Olympic silver medallist set a packed King Baudouin stadium alight when she cleared 5.00m.

But she failed at three attempts at 5.07m, 1cm further than Isinbayeva's world record.

On the track, Thompson scorched to victory in a new meeting record of 10.72 seconds ahead of Dutch rival Dafne Schippers.

The victory was Thompson's 12th consecutive in the blue-riband event in 2016, coming just weeks after she wrapped up golds in the 100 and 200m at the Rio Olympics.

"Now I can finally go back home," said the 24-year-old Jamaican, whose winning time meant she became the first woman in history to record four consecutive sub-10.8sec 100m times.

"I keep on smiling because this season was really great. If I had to summarise it in one word: Wonderful!"

European champion Schippers, who came fifth in the Rio 100m and took silver in the 200m, clocked 10.97 for second ahead of another Jamaican in the shape of Christania Williams.

"I had a decent start in my race but when it came to accelerating at the midway stage, my hamstrings caused me some trouble," Schippers said.

Ethiopian Almaz Ayana fell short in her bid to break compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba's world 5 000m record of 14:11.15 set in Oslo in 2008.

Ayana, the reigning 5 000m world champion who obliterated the world record when winning gold in the 10 000m in Rio, clocked a meeting record of 14:18.89, the eighth-fastest time ever run over the distance.

She paid the price for a slow opening couple of laps and despite breaking out on her own with 2km to run, the Ethiopian left herself too much to do on the final lap, missing out on the record by seven seconds.

Seven of the 17-strong field set personal bests while the USA's Shannon Rowbury set an American continental record.

There was also expected to be a tilt at a world record in the men's 3 000m steeplechase, but in-form Kenyan Conseslus Kipruto fell well short of the 7:53.63 mark set in 2004 in Brussels by Kenyan-born Qatari Saif Saaeed Shaheen.

Olympic champion Kipruto made it six wins on the Diamond League circuit this season, however, seeing off American Evan Jager in a winning time of 8:03.74.

Three-time world 1 500m champion Asbel Kiprop's plans to put his sixth-place finish in Rio behind him faltered as he was trumped by Kenyan team-mate Timothy Cheruiyot in a fast finish.

Cheruiyot just missed out on a sub-3:30 time, clocking a personal best of 3:31.34 with Morocco's Abdelaati Iguider taking second ahead of Kiprop.

Olympic heptathlon champion Nafi Thiam delighted her home crowd by winning the women's high jump on countback from three others who also managed 1.93m, while Colombia's imperious Olympic gold medallist Caterine Ibarguen won the triple jump (14.66m).



Men's 200m
1. Julian Forte (Jamaica) 19.97
2. Adam Gemili (Britain) 19.97
3. Churandy Martina (Netherlands) 19.98

Men's 400m
1. Luguelin Santos (Dominican Republic) 45.02
2. Jonathan Borlee (Belgium) 45.55
3. Dylan Borlee (Belgium) 45.61

Men's 800m
1. Adam Kszczot (Poland) 1:44.36
2. Kipyegon Bett (Kenya) 1:44.44
3. Amel Tuka (Bosnia and Herzegovina) 1:44.54

Men's 1 500m
1. Timothy Cheruiyot (Kenya) 3:31.34
2. Abdalaati Iguider (Morocco) 3:31.40
3. Asbel Kiprop (Kenya) 3:31.87

Men's 3 000m Steeplechase
1. Conseslus Kipruto (Kenya) 8:03.74
2. Evan Jager (U.S.) 8:04.01
3. Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad (France) 8:08.15
4. Nicholas Bett (Kenya) 8:11.20

Men's 110m Hurdles
1. Orlando Ortega (Spain) 13.08
2. Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (France) 13.12
3. Wilhem Belocian (France) 13.32

Men's High Jump
1. Erik Kynard (U.S.) 2.32
2. Mutaz Essa Barshim (Qatar) 2.32
3. Robert Grabarz (Britain) 2.32

Men's Long Jump
1. Luvo Manyonga (South Africa) 8.48
2. Fabrice Lapierre (Australia) 8.17
3. Jarrion Lawson (U.S.) 8.04

Men's Discus Throw
1. Daniel Stahl (Sweden) 65.78
2. Piotr Malachowski (Poland) 65.27
3. Lukas Weisshaidinger (Austria) 64.73


Women's 100m
1. Elaine Thompson (Jamaica) 10.72
2. Dafne Schippers (Netherlands) 10.97
3. Christania Williams (Jamaica) 11.09
5. Carina Horn (South Africa) 11.14

Women's 400m
1. Caster Semenya (South Africa) 50.40
2. Courtney Okolo (U.S.) 50.51
3. Stephenie McPherson (Jamaica) 50.51

Women's 5 000m
1. Almaz Ayana (Ethiopia) 14:18.89
2. Hellen Onsando Obiri (Kenya) 14:25.78
3. Senbere Teferi (Ethiopia) 14:29.82

Women's 100m Hurdles
1. Jasmin Stowers (U.S.) 12.78
2. Anne Zagre (Belgium) 12.82
3. Nadine Hildebrand (Germany) 12.83

Women's 400m Hurdles
1. Cassandra Tate (U.S.) 54.47
2. Sara Slott Petersen (Denmark) 54.60
3. Kaliese Spencer (Jamaica) 55.05
6. Wenda Theron Nel (South Africa) 55.41

Women's High Jump
1. Nafissatou Thiam (Belgium) 1.93
2. Levern Spencer (St Lucia) 1.93
3. Inika McPherson (U.S.) 1.93
3. Svetlana Radzivil (Uzbekistan) 1.93

Women's Pole Vault
1. Sandi Morris (U.S.) 5.00
2. Ekaterini Stefanidi (Greece) 4.76
3. Nicole Buechler (Switzerland) 4.58

Women's Triple Jump
1. Caterine Ibargueen (Colombia) 14.66
2. Olga Rypakova (Kazakhstan) 14.41
3. Patricia Mamona (Portugal) 14.16

Women's Javelin Throw
1. Madara Palameika (Latvia) 66.18
2. Barbora Spotakova (Czech Republic) 63.78
3. Kara Winger (U.S.) 61.86

Read more on:    caster semenya  |  athletics


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