Athletics: Semenya to attempt double again at Commonwealth Games


JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Caster Semenya will again attempt the 800 meters and 1500m double at next year’s Commonwealth Games before setting her sights on a world record.

Athletics – 76th ISTAF Berlin – Berlin, Germany – August 27, 2017 South Africa’s Caster Semenya wins the Women’s 600m with USA’s Ajee Wilson in second place REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

The 26-year-old South African won gold in the shorter distance and a surprise bronze in the 1500m at the World Championship in London in August.

“I will again be going for the double but I need to improve on my tactics (for the 1500m),” she told reporters.

“The 1500m is a race that excites me. I look forward to racing it.”

Her coach Jean Verster said the 800m world record would be a priority for Semenya after the April Games at the Gold Coast in Australia.

“We will be gunning for that in the next season. I think she can probably break it already but we’ve got to find the right race because you don’t want to put all your cards on the table and then get beaten,” he told South Africa’s Independent Newspapers.

Semenya won the 800m in London in one minute 55.16 seconds, the fastest time in the event since 2008.

“I believe a time of 1:52 is possible. It is just a matter of getting in the right race with the right pacemaker,” said Verster.

The world record of 1:53.28 is now almost 35 years old and was set by Czech Jarmila Kratochvilova in Munich in July 1983.

Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly;; +27828257807; Reuters Messaging: Reuters Messaging:

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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