No Competition for Semenya Locally!
LOCAL girl done good Olympic gold medallist Caster Semenya is in a league of her own.
This as there’s competition for Mzansi’s golden girl locally, despite being set to make her return to the track at the South African Senior Championships in Potchefstroom, North West, on Friday and Saturday.
Her renowned coach, Jean Verster, Semenya would use the upcoming event as part of her preparation for the IAAF World championships in London, England, in August.
After winning the Diamond league series, the African Championships and the Olympic gold medal, Semenya has had a long layoff.
The Limpopo-born athlete, who won the South African Sports Woman of the Year Award in 2016, will run in the 400m and 800m races.
Said Verster: “Caster has had a long layoff. During that time, she had a wedding and a long honeymoon".
"She has even been out of action for quite some time, but she is back and raring to go ahead of the Championships at our base in Potchefstroom.
“We want to use the local champs as a stepping stone for London, to see where she is in terms of her fitness. We’ll not do the triple like we did last year. We’ll stick to two events.
“She lacks competition in her field domestically, and we know the real competition is in Europe. But she wants to do well and get back into shape.”
Semenya is also to run at the University Sport South Africa Championships in Cape Town next month.
Her training partners Elroy Gelant (5 000m and 10 000m), Andre Olivier (1 500m) and Pieter Conradie (400m), will also be hoping to win their events in front of their home crowd.
Other stars to headline the biggest competition on the athletics calendar are Olympic medallist Luvo Manyonga (long jump), African champion Rushwal Samaai (long jump), Commonwealth 400m gold medallist Cornel Fredericks, eager to prove a point after failing to qualify for the Olympic Games in Brazil, Rio.
Junior sprinters Clarence Munyai and Gift Leotlela are also hungry to compete with the seniors.
Gladwin Mzazi and Stephen Mokoka, coached by Michael Seme, Semenya’s former coach, will also compete at the Potchefstroom two-day event.