South African athlete and world 800m champion Caster Semenya has won the 400m event in Bellville.

Cape Town - World 800m champion Caster Semenya eased her way to victory in her first 400m race at the third event of the Yellow Pages Series athletics meeting in Bellville, Cape Town, on Thursday evening.

On a cold and windy autumn evening, it was star attraction Semenya that the crowd had come to watch.

Semenya ran a time of 54.03 to finish ahead of second-placed Namibian Tjipekapora Herunga.

“I'm working on speed at the moment, so that's why I changed to the shorter 400m this week,” said Semenya.

“I'm ready for SA nationals 800m, because I'm able to do times around 54 for 400m so it's important I keep working on my speed.”

Semenya is looking to defend her title at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea in August. To qualify she will have to run a time under 1:59.8 seconds before July 14. Her world record mark of 1:55.45 set in Berlin 2009 means Semenya is confident to make it to the event.

In one of the other big races of the evening, it was the 5000m Women's race that provided the excitement.

Zintle Xiniwe was the surprise winner in a field including long distance specialists Rene Kalmer and Irvette Van Blerk. - Sapa