SA's Semenya claims third world 800m title

Paola Ditto
Agosto 13, 2017

Caster Semenya showed why she was perhaps the heaviest favorite in any event at the World Athletics Championships on Sunday, running a new personal best of 1:55.16 to take gold in the Women's 800-meters.

Ajee Wilson, who set a US record of 1:55.61 last month and has been in hot form, looked superb in winning the first heat in 1:59.21 from Melissa Bishop, the 2015 silver medallist from Canada who looked more like her normal self after labouring through the first round.

Francine Niyonsaba once again had to settle for second place behind Semenya, herself running a very fast time of 1:55.92, with Ajee Wilson capping off an impressive season to finish in third place in a time of 1:56.65.

There was no doubt that Semenya was an enormous favorite heading into this final, and that was undoubtedly justified as she proved too strong for both Niyonsaba and Wilson in the final 100m.

Semenya, unbeaten over the two-lap distance for the last two years, added the global crown to the world title she won as a teenager in Berlin in 2009 and the Olympic victory she achieved in Rio last year, though her tally was expected to be lifted when Russian athlete Mariya Savinova's appeal against a doping ban was finalised later this year.

"I just love you guys, it feels like home in London", said Semenya.

"I was trying to focus on my own race, I tried to speed it up for the last 100 metres not matter if I came up short", she said. The crowd was super-awesome and super-special tonight.

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