Semenya on fire in Monaco

Updated: July 22, 2017

​Caster Semenya broke her own national record on Friday evening, taking a superb victory in the women’s 800m race at the 11th leg of the IAAF Diamond League series in Monaco.
The Olympic 800m champion took the win in 1:55.27, bettering her own SA standard of 1:55.28 to beat perennial rival Francine Nyionsaba of Burundi by 0.20 in a hard-fought battle for the line.
“My coach back home, Jean Verster, will be amazed,” Semenya said.
“I think I can run really, really fast and we are training for that.”
In the men’s 400m sprint, world record holder Wayde van Niekerk warmed up for his 200m/400m double at next month’s IAAF World Championships in London with another sub-44 victory.
Van Niekerk was pushed all the way by Botswana’s Isaac Makwala, but after a mini-wobble on the top bend he held off the challenge to complete the one-lap race in a meeting record of 43.73. Makwala was second in 43.84.
“My body feels to be in great shape and this win from behind gives me a lot of confidence,” Van Niekerk said.
“We are still not peaking. We trained hard last week, and all should be ok for London.”
Fellow sprinter Akani Simbine secured third place in the men’s 100m race in 10.02, charging across the line 0.06 behind world record holder Usain Bolt of Jamaica.
Wenda Nel ended fifth in the women’s 400m hurdles race in 55.90 and Dominique Scott-Efurd set a personal best of 8:41.33 to finish 11th in the women’s 3 000m contest.
Scott-Efurd took more than five seconds off her career record, climbing to third place in the all-time SA rankings over seven-and-a-half laps.