Namibia: Herunga beaten by Semenya; Kaanjuka, Nghipandulwa and Maritz on podium in Cape Town

Submitted by Namibia Sport on 11 March 2011 - 2:10pm

Namibian athlete Tjipekapora Herunga finished second to South African Caster Semenya in the 400m at the third Yellow Pages meeting in Bellville, South Africa on Thursday.

Semenya, who is preparing to defend her 800m world title in South Korea later this year, sprinted to the finish in 54.03 seconds. Herunga finished in 54.40, a time that is way off her Namibian record of 52.46 seconds.

At the first Yellow Pages meeting in Potchefstroom, Herunga finished second, but won gold at the second meeting in Pretoria with a time of 53.93 seconds.

Another Namibian sprinter, Hitjevirue Kaanjuka also finished second in the 100m. South African Roscoe Engel finished first with a time of 10.46 seconds while Kaanjuka crossed the finish line in 10.57 seconds.

Kaanjuka won the gold medal at the second meeting in Pretoria ahead of Engel who finished second on that occasion.

Daniel Nghipandulwa finished third in the 800m with a time of 1:49.99 behind Samson Ngoepe (1:49.59) and Windy Jonas (1:49.92).

Nghipandulwa's time was off the pace of his personal best of 1:47.95, which he got at the Botswana Senior Championships last year.

Hardus Maritz won his first medal in this year's series after he finished third in the 400m hurdles in 52.87 seconds. He was behind Cornel Fredericks (49.33) and PC Beneke (52.27) both from South Africa.

After winning the 400m, Semenya said that she was ready to start competing in her specialist event, the 800m.

"It's what I'm training for so I'm just going to train hard so I can retain my title. I think I'm good enough to retain my title," Semenya said after her race.

She also said that she was still recovering from the back injury that stopped her from competing at the Commonwealth Games in India last October.

"I'm trying to heal my injury because I've not yet healed," she said.

© 2011 Namibia Sport