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Semenya and SA teammates in Oslo action

Diamond

By Mark Etheridge

Olympic champion Caster Semenya spearheads a handful of South Africans in Diamond League action in Oslo, Norway, on Thursday night.

Winner of the Eugene leg of the Diamond League Series last month, Semenya again lines up for the 800-metre event.

She leads the Diamond League standings with her world-leading 1min 56.61sec and she’s up against Rio Olympic rivals again on Thursday, with fellow medallists Francine Niyonsaba and Margaret Wambui also in action.

Other South Africans there are three-time Olympian LJ van Zyl in the 400m hurdles and national champion Pieter Conradie in the 400m, while another Olympian, Rynardt van Rensburg, and Henco Uys go off in the 800m on the meeting’s pre-programme.

Van Zyl (pictured, left, with Van Rensburg above) missed a meeting in Finland this week with sinus problems, but says he’s good to go on Thursday night. ‘I had a few problems, but I’m feeling a lot better now. It’s still not 100%, but I’ve got a spray that’s helping things. I’ve already been down to the track for a warm-up and am now looking forward to tonight.’

Conradie, with a 45.15sec best behind his name, will be looking to improve on the 46.71sec he ran for fifth spot in the World Challenge meeting in Finland this week.

He’s up against two of Belgium’s Borlee brothers, Jonathan and Kevin, and the quickest man in the field is fellow African Baboloki Thebe of Botswana, who has a 44.89sec best this season, the only man under 45sec in the line-up.

In the 800m it’s Van Rensburg’s third meeting of the year in Europe. His previous races have produced times of 1:47.6 and 1:46.9.

‘My big one is the 800m in Stockholm on Sunday,’ he said from Oslo. ‘Tonight is a pre-800m but with a good field, so we’re targeting Stockholm for a 1:45, and then Copenhagen, Denmark, on the 20th will also be a nice race.

‘The training as been going well. I’m just waiting for the perfect race now.’


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