fast little loans
London - Caster Semenya powered her way into the final of the women's 800m running her best race of the season in a time of one minute, 57.67 seconds (1:57:67).
For the majority of the season the 20-year-old looked uncomfortable in her races but on Thursday evening she sent out a clear message that she will be a contender for a podium place on Saturday.
“I am very happy to get to the finals, it was very hard but I tried my best,” Semenya said.
“I've done enough in training and it is just a matter of time, pump with the legs, just run.
“The results doesn't matter as long as you are in the final.”
She came into the Olympics with the 21st fastest time of the season with a pedestrian season's best time of 1:59.18, which she ran in Germany in July.
This time was nearly four seconds slower than the national record of 1:55.45 she set when she won the world title in Berlin in 2009.
Semenya ran her first lap in a similar fashion she ran the whole season, holding back and staying in fifth place.
This time around she moved up the field earlier as she started passing the leading bunch with 200m left in the race and came out of the bend as the race leader.
She kicked over the final 50 metres to open her lead to finish comfortably as the winner of her race to advance to the final.
South Africa's new-found sprinting sensation Anaso Jobodwana finished eighth in the final of the men's 200m race with a time of 20.69 seconds.
Jobodwana ran in a race which the Jamaicans took all three podium spots with Usain Bolt winning his second successive Olympic sprint double in a time of 19.32.
Bolt was shortly followed by Yohan BLake in a time of 19.44 and Warren Weir in third place with a time of 19.84.
“I didn't run a good race, I'm not making any excuses but my body wasn't responding properly,” Jobodwana said.
“Running against those guys (the Jamaican trio) is like a totally different story from the semi-finals. It's just crazy, the way they run is just unbelievable.
“I didn't have any nerves I was just focussed on trying to run a good race, which I didn't run.”
Meanwhile, one of South Africa's pre-Games favourites for a medal, Sunette Viljoen, could not find the right rhythm on the night finishing fourth.
Viljoen's first throw of the evening of 64.53m was initially good enough to keep her in third place.
She, however, peddled backwards with her next attempt dropping to 62.71 while her next three dropped below the 60m mark.
In the fourth round she lost her third placing to Linda Stahl of Germany, who heaved a distance of 64.93 with her dream of an Olympic medal slowly slipping away.
“I did my best so I don't think I could have done better than I did,” Viljoen said.
Decathlete Willem Coertzen completed South Africa's line-up at the Olympic Stadium finishing in ninth place after he amassed a total of 8173 points. - Sapa