Caster Semenya continued her continued dominance of women’s middle-distance running with a consummate victory over the 800m in Thursday’s IAAF Diamond League meeting in Oslo, Norway, writes MARK ETHERIDGE.
South Africa’s double Olympic, World and Commonwealth Games champion was once again in complete control as she cruised to victory in 1min 57.25sec.
It wasn’t a world-lead or meeting record time but the sponsor’s logo emblazoned on Semenya’s white vest said it all: EXTRA.
The South African was content to sit just off the pace for the first lap and then slowly power away from the field. Even though arch-rival Francine Niyonsaba pretty much drew level around the final bend, the Burundian was blown away by Semenya’s extra strength down the main straight.
Semenya is still the world’s quickest two-lapper of the year after her 1:55.92 last month. The meeting record belongs to fellow African Pamela Jelimo of Kenya who ran 1:55.41 almost exactly 10 years ago.
Second on Thursday was Niyonsaba in 1:58.57 with Ethiopia’s Habitat Alemu in 1:58.58.
The only other South Africa in action was sprinter Carina Horn.
Horn, the first South African to crack the sub-11sec barrier after a brilliant run in Doha last month, raced the 100m again.
She was up against a quality field as she set off in lane seven.
But she wouldn’t have been happy with her run.
A good start never evolved into something special and she trailed in sixth in 11.22 as world indoor champion Murielle Ahoure of Cote d’Ivoire won in 10.90, the only finisher under 11 seconds.
Photo: Semenya celebrating victory in Oslo, by Vidar Ruud/AFP/Getty Images