Cape Town – South Africa’s double Olympic and Triple World Champion,
Caster Semenya will toe the line in the 1000m, a rarely run event on the track,
at Tuks Stadium (Tshwane) on Thursday, March 8 in the second of three
Athletix Grand Prix Meetings.
Semenya has never raced the two and a half lap
distance. This will be a unique
experience both for her and the crowds.
The 27-year-old double Olympic champion has hinted that if she feels
good on the day, she may very well chase the South African record which stands
at 2:37.2 set by Ilse de Kock Wicksell in 1983.
“My training is going very well. I am fit, I am confident
and if the conditions are right, I may just see how close I can get to the record.
It does depend on the pace of the race. If the time is on, I will try and chase
it,” said Semenya.
She has good reason to feel good after running a 51sec 400m
at the 4th Athletics Gauteng North League Meeting at Tuks on
Saturday. Semenya is a wily campaigner, with over 10 years of
racing behind her. She is well aware
that although there is no World Championships or Olympic Games in 2018, it is
still a long year for the athlete.
“The Athletix Grand Prix Series fits perfectly into my
plans. I can see where I am right now in terms of my training. That will give me a good idea of what I can
do in Europe later this year. Remember there are the African Senior Championships
in August (Nigeria) and also the Continental and World Cups’ later this
year. So even though there are no
Olympics, or Worlds, this is still a long and big year for me,” she said.
Semenya is targeting the 1000m in Tshwane before
looking to defend her national title a week later and finally tackling the 1500m
at Dal Josaphat Stadium, Paarl on March 22. If the pace allows it she may very
well end up hunting down the women’s SA 1500m record of 4:01.81 which stands
behind the name of Zola Budd Pieterse.
Semenya’s best is 4:01.99 which she ran in Durban in 2016,
not far off the national record.
pace is right she has hinted that she may well try and claim the 1500m record