Semenya seals Olympics spot | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 22, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 22, 2012

Semenya seals Olympics spot

Former world champion Caster Semenya won an 800-metre race in one minute 59.58 seconds Friday to secure a place in the South African team for the Olympic Games.
Semenya is considered the best South African prospect for gold at the Games and relished running on a University of Pretoria track where she was boosted by the fast pace set by Namibian Herunga Tjipekapora.
It was third time lucky for the 21-year-old, who conquered the world in Berlin three years ago but was then forced to take gender tests amid accusations from rivals.
She failed to better the 1:59.90 qualifying mark during two previous attempts in South Africa this year, most recently at the national championships in wind-swept Port Elizabeth last weekend.
South African athletes must crack the qualifying time twice -- once at home and once abroad -- before June 30 to be chosen for the London Olympics.
Semenya got her 'abroad' time in South Korean city Daegu last year when finishing second behind Russian Mariya Savinova in defence of the world title after a long spell being hampered by a lower back injury.
The former world champion changed coaches last year, replacing Michael Seme with ex-Olympic 800-metre gold medalist Maria Mutola from neighbouring Mozambique.
Other South African athletes who have booked their places in London are 400-metre hurdlers LJ van Zyl and Cornel Fredericks, women's javelin thrower Sunette Viljoen and decathlete Willem Coertzen.

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