CAPE TOWN – It wasn’t quite a new South African record or personal best, but Caster Semenya took charge from the start to set a new 800m meeting record at the Monaco Diamond League on Friday night.
Semenya normally looks to sit in behind a pacemaker or another athlete at the front, but perhaps in an attempt to break her SA mark of 1:54.25, which she ran in Paris on June 30, she went to the front immediately.
Her current best was the fourth fastest time in history, and she was determined to go even quicker on the fast track at the Stade Louis II in Monaco on Friday night.
Semenya sped into the lead and was chased by long-time rival Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi.
The 27-year-old completed the first lap in 55.76, but despite racing away from Niyonsaba and the rest of the field, the Olympic champion wasn’t able to maintain her speed from the first lap.