Cape Town - Fresh off her 1 000m SA
record, Caster Semenya will be chasing the women's 1 500m South African record
at the Dal Josaphat Stadium in Paarl on Thursday, March 22 at the third
and final Athletix Grand Prix series meeting.
In fine form, Semenya broke
the 35-year-old record of Ilse de Kock Wicksell on Thursday, March 8 at the
second Grand Prix meeting at Tuks.
READ: Ilze Wicksell congratulates Caster on record
will face USA-based Dominique Scott in the 1 500m at the 3rd and final meeting in Paarl.
Scott won the SA 5 000m title last week clocking
Semenya has already come
close to the SA record of 4:01.81, set as far back as 1984 by Zola Budd-Pieterse
when she clocked 4:01.99 in Durban on 24 June 2016 at the Africa Championships.
The World Championship bronze medalist over 1 500m has already raced the metric
mile once in 2018, clocking 4:23.26 in Tshwane on February 3. Not much should be read into this performance
though, especially after her blistering 2:35.43* SA 1 000m record.
Scott has raced the 1 500m
twice this season on the indoor circuit where she first ran a national record
of 4:05.25 (Boston, February 10) and 4:09.81 (Birmingham, March 2). That
4:07.25 lowered her previous national record by 3/10th from 4:10.90.
The indoor track is very different to running outdoors which makes it difficult
to extrapolate how good the 1 500m indoor time is in comparison to the outdoors.
With no pace maker, Semenya
will have to do the work herself. She will need to go through the 300m mark in
around 46-48sec, the 400m in roughly 62-64sec with 2:08 targeted for 800m if
she hopes to break the record. A tough ask for someone to do on their own.
"At SA's it is all about the
title," says Semenya who recently graduated in Sports Management. "So the race
is more likely to be tactical. I am
really looking forward to chasing Zola’s record. I have the 800m and the 1000m
record so it will be good to get the 1 500m record too."
Semenya is raw speed, while
Scott seems to get better as the race progresses, making the 1 500m an exciting
Semenya will be seeking an 800m/1 500m double at the National Championships,
a feat she last achieved in 2016, where she also won the 400m title.
*(SA record awaiting