18 April 2016
It was three times the charm for South African sprinter Caster Semenya, who gained three titles at the National Track and Field Championships in Stellenbosch over the weekend.
Within the space of four hours, Semenya scooped three races: the women’s 400m in 50.76, 800m in 1:58.46 and the 1 500m in 4:10.93.
“It is also the fastest by a South African athlete for 15 years and moves her to fifth on the national all-time list. Her time in the 800m was not only a stadium record, but it was also her fastest mark since the London 2012 Olympics,” reported the International Association of Athletics Federations on its website.
“I didn’t expect to go this fast,” Semenya said. “I wanted to run under 4:10.00 in the 1 500m, but it’s okay. The 400m and 800m were marvellous. I’m happy with my performances.”
Caster Semenya made history yesterday by becoming the 1st South African athlete to win the 400m, 800m & 1500m races all in one day!
— Moses Nku (@Moses_Nku) April 17, 2016
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World 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk was also a winner, crossing the finish line in 44.98 seconds to retain his national crown.
“I appreciate every achievement that comes my way, and obviously now it’s up to me to improve myself for the rest of the year,” Van Niekerk said.
“The main goal is the Olympics, and I’d like to pick up a bit more momentum before I get to Europe and then Rio.”
👉🏽 “Here’s Wayde van Niekerk @WaydeDreamer winning the 400m final at national champs in 44.99 secspic.twitter.com/yLVL6MfcBj (via @EWNsport)’
— Athletics Africa (@athleticsafrica) April 16, 2016
Sprinter Alyssa Conley won the women’s 200m final in a time of 23:01, while Stephen Mokoka gained titles in the 5 000m and10 000m double.
In the long jumps, Ruswahl Samaai jumped 8.34m in the first round. His contender, Luvo Manyonga, overstepped twice and was eliminated so Samaai’s opening was enough to earn a win.
Source: South Africa.info reporter