Cape Town - South Africa's double Olympic champion Caster Semenya progressed
without problem to the final of the women's 800m after coasting to
victory in the semi-final at the IAAF World Championships on Friday.
a bronze medallist in the 1500m in London as she attempted an audacious
double, clocked an impressive 1min 58.90sec, looking incredibly
comfortable as she broke with 20 metres to run.
"Yes, of course,"
said the two-time world gold medallist Semenya when asked whether she
thought she could again medal in the two-lap race.
"The 1500m was more of me doing my training because otherwise I'd just be staying at home doing nothing.
I came here to entertain these people," said the South African, dogged
by gender accusations since shooting to fame when she won her world gold
over the 800m in Berlin in 2009.
Going through in second was
Poland's Angelika Cichocka, who produced a stunning sprint to finish
ahead of American Charlene Lipsey and Briton Lynsey Sharp.
Niyonsaba of Burundi, world indoor champion and Olympic silver
medallist, won the third and final semi ahead of Kenya's Margaret
Wambui, bronze medallist at both the world indoors and Olympics last
American Ajee Wilson and Canada's Melissa Bishop qualified
from the opening semi, with Lipsey and Benin's Noelie Yarigo going
through as the two fastest losers.
Meanwhile, South Africa's other semi-finalist Gena Löfstrand did not qualify for the final after finishing last in a time of 2:03.67.
The final of the women's 800m gets underway on the final day of the athletic championship on Sunday (21:10 SA time).