Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
SEMENYA, SIMBINE SHOW THEIR CLASS AT UJ
Akani Simbine and Caster Semenya stole the show at the opening leg of the Varsity Athletics series at the University of Johannesburg on Friday night.
While neither athlete produced the explosive form they have already shown in the early stages of the season, they dominated their events to lead their respective Tuks and Pukke teams.
Simbine, fresh off his national 100m record of 9.96 seconds set in Pretoria last week, won the men’s short sprint in 10.18.
“My body is tired so I focussed on my technique and executing it well. I did that, so I am happy,” he said.
Semenya, looking leaner and stronger than she has in years, coasted to victory in the women’s 400m event in 52.45.
Though she was nearly a second outside the personal best of 51.47 she set in the capital city earlier this month, the former world 800m champion was pleased with her form at the start of the Olympic season.
“It feels great to be back in good shape. I really enjoyed being out there tonight,” Semenya said.
“Everything is falling into shape for Rio, so I am really happy.”
Earlier in the evening, Tuks High School student Clarence Munyai shattered his personal best by 0.32 in the junior boys’ race, crossing the line in 10.39 to qualify for this year’s Olympic Games.
The 18-year-old dipped 0.11 under the required standard for the half-lap event at the Rio showpiece.
“The goal is the World Junior Championships this year, but after tonight I may need to rethink that,” Munyai said.
“I have set an Olympic qualifier but I do know there is a lot of hard work to be done before I can even think about the Games.”