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Semenya surges to personal best in Morocco

Semenya

Caster Semenya was back to her best and also posted a personal best time in the women’s 1,000m event at Friday’s IAAF Diamond League in Rabat, Morocco, writes MARK ETHERIDGE.

Semenya bounced back after a disappointing sixth spot in the 1,500m at the recent Diamond League in Zurich, Switzerland.

On Friday, she was in fine fettle, though, as she won in 2min 31.01sec which clipped 4.42 seconds off her old best.

She was always in control, winning by almost five seconds from America’s Ce’Aira Brown (2:35.85) with yet another US athlete, Kaela Edwards, in third (2:36:13).

Semenya is still competing with a cloud hanging over her head as the IAAF will introduce new testosterone-controlling rules in November but the South African has not taken things lying down and has gone to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in her challenge.

Just two more South Africans were in Moroccan action, one of them Dominique Scott on track.

She went off in the women’s 5,000m and ended ninth in a time of 15mins 11.65sec, around 1.5 seconds off the personal best she set in Oregon, US earlier this year.

The winner was Kenyan Hellen Obiri who put in a strong finishing effort to clock a world-leading 14:21.75. Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan was second in 14:22.34 – an area record and personal best.

Of the eight athletes ahead of Scott on the night, only one failed to set either a personal best, season’s best or world-leading time, a testimony to the strong field assembled on the night.

The final South African was Zack Visser, who took sixth in the long jump with a best-on-the-night leap of 7.79m. That effort came with his second leap and Jamaica’s Tajay Gayle was best with an 8.09m leap with his final jump of the night.

Saturday and Sunday see a bunch of South Africans taking part in the World Cup event in London, England.

Photo: Semenya leaves the rest trailing in Rabat, by Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images


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