Caster Semenya Picture: Backpagepix

SASOLBURG – Olympic 800m gold medallist Caster Semenya once again demonstrated her insane versatility when she won the women’s 300m at the Sasol-NWU International Athletics meeting in Sasolburg on Tuesday night.

She lined up against Botswana’s Amantle Montsho and South African 400m hurdles ace Wenda Nel on a cool autumn evening.

Semenya crossed the line in a fast time of 37.22 seconds, beating Montsho into the runner-up spot with 37.44, while Nel finished third in 37.59.

“I didn’t really target a time. It was more about me enjoying myself, but the time is amazing. Maybe in future I will try and go faster,” Semenya said.

“I obviously have respect for them. They are sprinters, specialising more in 400m and 400m hurdles, so for me, it was more about pacing myself.”

Heide Seyerling-Quinn holds the South African 300m record with a time of 37.02, which she posted in Sydney in 2000.

Female hammer throw prospect Letitia Janse van Vuuren improved the national record she set last month by almost three metres.

Janse van Vuuren launched a best heave of 63.82m in the home town of hammer-throw legend Chris Harmse.

The record-breaking effort comes a month after she broke Annemie Smith’s previous record.

“It felt good. The first time I didn’t expect it, but this time I felt better prepared and I knew I could do it,” said Janse van Vuuren, who trains with Harmse.

“I had a good few weeks of training before this.”

The 20-year-old Janse van Vuuren trains under the tutelage of Basie Koen at the hammer-throw academy in Sasolburg.

Although Janse van Vuuren has shown drastic improvement over the last few months, she did not allow her imagination to run away with her.

“I am working towards World Students in Taiwan in August, and then hopefully Commonwealth Games next year,” she said.

“The World Championships are still a bit out of my league, but hopefully soon I will be competing with the big guys.”

In the men’s hammer throw, Tshepang Makhethe launched a new personal best heave of 71.28m to beat Harmse into second place as the veteran recorded 69.95m.

Reigning women’s 100m and 200m national champion Alyssa Conley won both her sprint events on the evening.

Conley was disappointed with her 100m time of 11.45 seconds, but showed sharpness in the half-lap sprint in cool conditions, posting a time of 23.16.

“I am happy with the 200m, although I would have loved a sub-23. But I was racing alone,” Conley said.

“It is important for me to go away knowing what I need to work on.”

Qatar’s Abderrahmane Samba clocked a world lead with an unofficial time of 48.31 in the men’s 400m hurdles.

LJ van Zyl finished in fourth place with a time of 50.48.

Independent Media