Caster Semenya’s incredible versatility was on display on the third day of the African Athletics Championships in Asaba, Nigeria as she romped to the 400m title posting a new South African record.
The South African phenom snuffed out any notion that her abilities were limited to middle-distance running as she shaved 0.09s off Heide Seyerling’s record from Sydney 2000.
“It has always been the dream to go sub-50 seconds and I thought it was the right time,” Semenya said.
“It is always about having fun and waiting for the right moment to execute and have a good race.”
Semenya now holds national records in the 400m, 800m, 1000m and the 1500m highlighting her awesome range which includes the one-lap sprint.
She will be looking to add the 400-800m golden double to the 800-1500m feat from two years ago when she lines up in the two-lap event on Saturday.
Men’s 4x100m relay
South Africa is developing into a real relay powerhouse with the quartet of Akani Simbine, Simon Magakwe, Henricho Bruintjies and Emile Erasmus successfully defending the title stopping the clock 0.01s short of the national record.
Newly crowned African 100m champion and relay anchor Simbine received the baton from Erasmus with a slight advantage but pulled away from the opposition like a bat out of hell.
The one-lap sprint specialist is coming into his own winning the silver medal in the 400m final posting a new personal best of 45.14 edging himself closer to the sub-45 second mark.
Phora finished second behind Botswana’s Baboleki Thebe, who raced to victory with a time of 44.81.
The high-jump ace equalled his personal best of 2.26m finishing second for his first continental medal with compatriot Mpho Links finishing third with 2.15m. Kenya’s Matthew Sawe walked away with a clearance of 2.30m.
South Africa’s top female long jumper won her second African bronze medal with a best jump of 6.38m with Nigeria’s Brume Ese winning comfortably with 6.80m.
South Africa’s top one-lap hurdler made a welcomed return to the podium winning his third African medal finishing second in Nigeria. Fredericks won silver at Nairobi 2010 and raced to victory in Marrakesh in 2014 before winning the Continental Cup title.
Opening her championships with her weaker event Senekal earned a place on the podium in the women’s discus throw bagging the bronze medal with a heave of 53.82m.
She finished behind Nigeria’s Onyekwere Choma of Nigeria, who won with a winning throw of 58.09m.