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Caster qualifies for Olympics

Caster Semenya finally booked her place for the London Olympic Games at the final Yellow Pages meeting in Pretoria on Friday night.

The former world 800 metres champion demolished the rest of the field in a time of 1 minute 59.58 seconds, dipping below the Olympic qualifying time of 1:59.90.

Caster Semenya finally booked her place for the London Olympic Games at the final Yellow Pages meeting in Pretoria on Friday night. Credit: Gallo Images

Semenya reached the qualifying time for the first time last year at the IAAF World Championships in South Korea, where she relinquished her title to Mariya Savinova of Russia.

She had the advantage of running on her home track as well as the assistance of pacemaker Herunga Tjipekapora of Namibia.

It is the first time since 1991 that a South African woman dipped below two minutes in the two-lapped race, with Zelda Pretorius the last to do it at a time of 1:58.85, also in Pretoria.

The 21-year-old missed qualifying time at the SA Senior Championships in Port Elizabeth last weekend but did not have strong enough competition to push her hard enough.

She now joins decathlete Willem Coertzen, one-lap hurdler Cornel Fredericks, South African javelin throw record holder Sunette Viljoen and world 400m hurdles bronze medallist L.J van Zyl, who all booked their places for the Games in July. – Sapa

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