Semenya eases to victory in women’s 5000m at Gauteng North champs

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PRETORIA, March 17 – Caster Semenya might conquer a new distance this season judging by her victory in the women’s 5000m at the Gauteng North Athletics Championships at the University of Pretoria on Saturday.

The 28-year-old eased to the win in 16 minutes 11.59 seconds.

For the first few laps of the 5 000m Semenya, Glenrose Xaba and Carmie Prinsloo, were taking turns to set the pace. As expected it was Semenya who slowly turned up the heat starting to lap most of the other athletes.

Over the last three laps, Glenrose was also not able to keep up and finished some way behind in 16:53.61 with Prinsloo third in 17:11.13. Earlier in the morning Semenya won the 1500m in 4:14.69.

In the women’s hammer thrower, Tuks athlete Margo Pretorius, who won in 61.75m becoming only the third South African female athlete to go past 60 metres. Her previous best was the 59.14m she threw during last year’s inaugural World Cup in London.

Pretorius was pleased with her performance.

“I tore some shoulder ligaments last year which meant I was in rehabilitation for eight months. I only seriously started training in February. Up to now we mostly focussed on improving my technique. I have yet to start to do serious gym work.”

Prudence Sekgodiso impressed winning the women’s 800m in 2:03.98. The 17-year old’s time is faster than what Semenya ran when she was the same age. She is confident of running an even quicker time.

“I was hoping to do so during the South African Junior Championships. However, I am not going to be there as I am representing South Africa at the World Cross Country Championships in Denmark. It means I will have to chase a time of 2:02 something at the South African Senior Championships.” (ANA)