South Africa’s Caster Semenya stormed to another commanding victory on Friday, winning the women’s 800m title at the Commonwealth Games and taking home double gold from Australia’s Gold Coast after winning the 1500m final earlier in the week.
Semenya clocked 1:56.68, setting a new Games record after opening up a big gap on Kenyan rival Margaret Wambui, who earned silver in 1:58.07.
“We had a great off-season. The build-up was great and we had a lot of long runs, so we knew where we were,” Semenya said.
“With the experience we have, we’re more mature. It has been almost 10 years running 800m, so for us it’s quite easy to run 800m and 1 500m, but 1 500m is the hardest because it’s beyond the distance I usually do.”
Long distance runner Stephen Mokoka finished a credible sixth in the men’s 10 000m final, completing the race in 27:44.58.
Ugandan athlete Joshua Cheptegei, who competed in the recent Liquid Telecom Grand Prix Series, won gold in 27:19.62.
The national men’s 4x100m relay team of Henricho Bruintjies, Emile Erasmus, Anaso Jobodwana and Akani Simbine, made it safely through the first round by winning their heat in 38.71 to reach tomorrow’s final.
Phil-Mar Janse van Rensburg also progressed to Saturday’s finals, landing his opening Javelin Throw attempt on the 78.00m automatic qualifying mark.
“Well done Caster for bringing us double gold by easing to a 800m win today,” ASA President, Aleck Skhosana said. “It is not an easy feat to be able to break two Games records and do it in same competition, so we are proud of her.
“The whole country is abuzz with the wonderful achievements that have been produced by our athletes through Team South Africa. We are grateful that she and her coach managed to hold after winning the 1 500m.
“We are looking forward to the Relay and Javelin finals tomorrow morning and we trust our athletes will do us proud.”
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