Caster Semenya chats with 400m Olympic gold medallist and world record holder Wayde van Niekerk after she won the 5,000m run during South African Championships in Germiston. Photo: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG – The queen of South African athletics Caster Semenya bowed out of the South African Track and Field Championships with three gold medals in the bag.

Semenya showed off her incredible range winning both the 1 500m and the 5 000m national titles before anchoring the Gauteng North team to victory in the 4x400m relay over the weekend. She opened her championships with a stunning maiden victory in the 5 000m beating Rio Olympian Dominique Scott-Efurd.

While her time may not have any of the world’s top 5 000m athletes quivering in their boots, she did prove she can be competitive over this distance at the Germiston Athletics Stadium.

The three-day championships produced a good amount of upsets, milestones and highlights.

On the first day, former national 100m record holder Simon Magakwe blitzed to his eighth SA title in the sprint event.

Tshepang Makhete ended the longest winning streak in SA track and field by winning the men’s hammer throw title on Friday. He landed a new personal best throw of 72.25m to end national record holder Chris Harmse’s 23-year reign.

The championships came to a climactic end on Saturday with fans being treated to an hour of high drama and top-class action.

Between 5:40pm and 6:30pm they witnessed stellar performances from the field to the track events.

SA 100m record holder Akani Simbine beat former world bronze medallist Anaso Jobodwana for the 200m title with a winning time of 20.27 seconds.

Shot put ace Orazio Cremona demonstrated his temperament for the big moment winning his eighth national title with a personal-best heave of 21.51m.

Cremona extended his personal best by 39 centimetres edging himself closer to Janus Robberts’ national record of 21.97m from 2001.


The Star

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