Caster Semenya compete in the women's 1,500m race at the Athletissima IAAF Diamond League in Lausanne, Photo: Valentin Flauraud/EPA

JOHANNESBURG – Given Caster Semenya’s current form she could give the 1 000m world best a scare at the Rabat Diamond League meeting in Morocco this evening.

She set a new South African 1 000m best of 2:35.43 earlier this year in Pretoria, knocking almost two seconds off Ilze Wicksell’s time set in 1983.

Although her national record is almost seven seconds slower than Russian Svetlana Masterkova’s world best of 2:28.98, she has been on a roll this season.

Semenya posted the fourth fastest 800m time in history at the Paris Diamond League a fortnight ago when she clocked 1:54.25.

Masterkova was like Semenya, extremely versatile over both the 800m and the 1 500m, winning the Olympic double gold at the Atlanta 1996 Games.

The 1 000m race will be the perfect dress rehearsal for the Monaco Diamond League meeting in a week’s time where she could become only the third women to dip below 1:54.

Semenya, middle-distance athlete Dominique Scott-Efurd and long-jumper Zarck Visser will be the only South Africans in action at the meeting.

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Scott-Efurd has been a model of consistency this year, improving on her best times at almost every race. She will be lining up in the women’s 5 000m buoyed by the personal best she clocked at the Eugene Diamond League in May. The America-based athlete chopped almost 10 seconds off her previous PB, finishing eighth in 15:10.23.

She will be looking to make further inroads towards joining Elana Meyer as the only South African athlete to dip below the 15-minute barrier tonight. She will be lining up against 5 000m world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya and Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba, who boasts the fourth fastest time ever over the distance with a personal best of 14:15.41.

The quality field, coupled with warm conditions, promises a fast time that will aid the South African in chasing a piece of history.

Long jumper Visser will be looking to continue his revival in his specialist event after a stellar performance at Bad Langensalza, Germany two weeks ago.

Visser’s jump of 8.40m was his best effort in three years and the first time since 2015 that he managed to jump over 8.30m. He set his personal best of 8.41m at the same jumpers meeting in Germany back in 2015.

The South African will go up against World Championship Jarrion Lawson of the United States, who boasts a best jump of 8.58m in what will be a tough event.


The Star

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