Caster Semenya broke her own South African record, taking a superb victory in the Women’s 800m race at the 11th leg of the IAAF Diamond League series in Monaco on Friday 21 July, 2017.
The Olympic and world 800m champion Caster Semenya took the win in 1:55.27, an IAAF Diamond League record, a meeting record and also improved her own national record of 1:55.28, ahead of Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi in a hard-fought battle for the line.
Niyonsaba went on to smash the Burundian 800m record in a time of 1:55.47 while US runner Ajee Wilson in third earned a national record of 1:55.61.
“I showed my strength,” said Semenya. “It was a hard fight until the end. The girls surprised me how well they ran. Now we still must decide, maybe tonight, what I will do in London – if it will be only the 800m or also 400m or 1500m.”
Van Niekerk and Makwala battle in 400m
Van Niekerk was pushed all the way by Botswana’s Isaac Makwala but he held off the challenge to complete the one-lap race in 43.73 seconds.
Makwala – who completed an historic double last week in Madrid, becoming the first man to run a sub-44-second 400m (43.92) and a sub-20-second 200m (19.77) on the same day – finished second in a season’s best of 43.84 ahead of compatriot Baboloki Thebe, who clocked 44.26.
South African sprinter Akani Simbine secured third place in the men’s 100m race in 10.02, charging across the line 0.06 behind world record-holder Usain Bolt of Jamaica, who clocked 9.95 for victory.
Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast won the women’s 200m in 22.25 and Kenya’s Olympic 5000m silver medallist Hellen Obiri cruised to victory in the 3000m winning in the fastest time of the year, 8:23.14.