Middle distance runner Caster Semenya will not run in the Yellow Pages Summer Series this month, but will return at the start of the regular domestic track and field season in February, her coach said yesterday.
Coach Michael Seme said the back injury that had kept Semenya out of the Commonwealth Games in October had not yet healed.
“She is not ready yet. She hasn’t recovered properly,” Seme said.
“She was supposed to run a time trial this week to test her fitness, but she was not even able to start. She was not feeling well.”
Seme had hoped the world 800m champion would return to action in Cape Town, for the last leg of the Yellow Pages Summer Series on December 18.
Instead, she would return in February, when she hopes to qualify for next year’s World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea, he said.
“She will run in all six Yellow Pages meetings next year – including the national championships.”
The 19-year-old has not competed since clocking the fifth fastest 800m time of the year (1:58.16) to win a meeting in Milan in September.
Meanwhile, Stellenbosch-based hurdles star Cornel Fredericks powered his way to victory in the 300m hurdles, in the opening leg of the Yellow Pages Summer Series at a windy Coetzenburg stadium in Stellenbosch last night.
Ranked 16th in the world in the 400m hurdles, Fredericks showed courage in taking honours in 35.93, with young hurdles sensation Tarriq Solomons next best in 37.45.
In the 300m race, Fredericks came second in 33.47, behind 400m star from the North West Province, Ofentse Mogawane (33.22).
Cindy Stewart may be based in the Eastern Cape these days, but she hasn’t forgotten her Western Cape roots, and showed determination to win the 60m and 150m races in 7.77 and 18.09 secs respectively.
Leigh Julius used his top-level racing experience to take the men’s 60m and 150m sprints in 6.90 and 16.34.
Mile athletes had to dig deep against the wind that got stronger as the meeting progressed and any hope Tshamano Setone may have had of running a dream mile disappeared into the Stellenbosch night, as the 11 athletes put on as good a show as they could.
Setone won in 4:13.56, with Samson Ngoepe next best in 4:13.95. The Yellow Pages’ R5 000 incentive for the first athlete to dip under four minutes in the mile, will carry over to the second leg of the series in Oudtshoorn on Monday. – Sapa