One might as well rename the South African national track and field championships that came to an end at Coetzenburg, Stellenbosch on Saturday.
Call it the Caster Championships as 2012 Olympic 800-metre silver medallist and former world champion Caster Semenya (pictured above) ran her way into history with an incredible treble track victory… in the space of one day.
She won the one-lapper 400m, the two-lapper 800m and the metric mile 1500m… in the space of just over four hours. It’s a feat never achieved by a South African woman.
She also achieved Olympic Games qualifying times in the the two shorter distances, proving that this is simply no ordinary human being and she’s proved that she’s even more of an athlete from the troubling times when there was so much turbulence over the gender issue which led to her being suspended after her 2009 World Championships win in Berlin.
First up was the 400m, just past 1pm and she cruised to her best time yet, a fine 50.74. That’s not far off the world’s fastest time thus far, American Jaide Stepter’s 50.91 just over two weeks ago.
Fifty minutes later it was her signature event, the 800m and after a first lap of just under 60sec there wasn’t much indication of anything special to come but she just wound up the pace with about 250m to go and stretched out to a 1:58.45 victory, the fastest on the globe this year.
After that victory she had the ‘luxury’ of three hours rest before her last, and longest event!
But it seems nothing is too much for this superstar as she went on to win in 4:10.93, outside the Olympic qualifying standard but no-one’s asking any questions.
‘Even I’m quite impressed with the performances of tonight. I didn’t expect to run like this, well fast times like this,’ Semenya said. ‘The 400 and 800, it was just marvellous. The legs don’t feel too much pain but I’ll pay tomorrow,’ she said.
Runner-up in the 1500m was Dominique Scott-Efurd, who made the trip back from United States especially to run the nationals. She clocked 4:14.23.
Source: SASCOC