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Cronje, Semenya impress in Italy

World Championships bronze medallist Johan Cronje’s great season continued as he broke his own national 1500-metre record on Sunday night.

Cronje and Caster Semenya were the only South Africans taking part, both shone at the season-ending World Challenge meeting in Rieti, reports Sapa.

Cronje broke the national 1500m record for the second time this year, taking second place in 3min 31.93sec to improve his own SA mark by 1.53 seconds.

Running a well-judged race, he went out hard as the leaders set a blistering pace, and had enough left in the tank to produce a sprint finish as he edged Moroccan Mohamed Moustaoui on the line.

Silas Kiplagat of Kenya was never really challenged as he led from gun to tape to win easily in 3:30.13.

Semenya showed she was approaching her best form for the first time this season, in her last race of the year, after returning from a lengthy injury lay-off.

Pacing herself well throughout the race, she won the women’s 800m event in 1:58.93sec, charging clear of Kenyan Nelly Jepkosgei to secure victory by more than half a second as she broke the two-minute barrier for the first time this season.