South Africa’s track and field queen, Caster Semenya, underlined her class once more on Friday evening by surging to a second gold medal at the national championships in Germiston.
Semenya, who claimed the 5 000m title on Thursday, produced the goods again in the 1 500m – both distances provide the ideal endurance training for her favourite 800m, which she will tackle at the world championships in Doha later in the year.
Mind you, the Olympic champion may opt to double up, as she did at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, where she was first in the 800m and 1 500m.
The 28-year-old was in fine form in Germiston on Friday night, sprinting to the front of the pack and never relinquishing the lead.
Semenya managed to maintain a good pace around the nearly four laps of the track, and crossed the line in 4:13.59, well clear of silver medallist Carmie Prinsloo in 4:29.55.
Another notable winner on the track was Antonio Alkana in the 110m hurdles, where he clocked 13.38 seconds to beat Ruan de Vries (13.55).
In the 200m semi-finals, Akani Simbine and Anaso Jobodwana made sure they went through to set up a thrilling final on Saturday.
But the action was also red-hot in the field events. Veteran Khotso Mokoena proved that there was still life in those legs yet as he soared to victory in the triple jump with a 16.81m effort.
In the high jump, Mpho Links grabbed the gold with a solid 2.25m, while World Youth champion Breyton Poole took the bronze with 2.15m – Keegan Fourie clinching the silver with 2.20m.
But the biggest surprise of the night came in the hammer throw, where the ‘godfather’ Chris Harmse was beaten to the top spot.
Tshepang Makhethe of Central North West produced a massive effort of 72.25m to edge out Harmse, whose best throw was 71.70m.@ashfakmohamed