Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
16 Jul 2016
11:55 am

Semenya sets sight on Rio double

Wesley Botton

Semenya, who holds three of the four fastest 800m times in the world this year, qualified for the 400m and 1 500m events.

Caster Semenya

In-form two-lap star Caster Semenya is likely to double up over 400m and 800m at next month’s Rio Olympics, though her coach Jean Verster says they will not make a final decision until the eve of the Games.

“She is entered in both for now but we will make a final decision in the next few weeks,” Verster said on Saturday.

Semenya continued to build on her impressive form this season, storming to a national record of 1:55.33 to win the women’s two-lap race at the Diamond League meeting in Monaco on Friday night.

Semenya, who holds three of the four fastest 800m times in the world this year, also qualified for the 400m and 1 500m events at the Rio Games.

Though she confirmed previously she would not race the 1 500m in Rio, after setting a personal best of 4:01.99 at the African Championships in Durban last month, she had said she would consider adding the 400m to her programme.

Her one-lap career record of 50.74, which she clocked at the national championships in Stellenbosch in April, placed her 14th in the world rankings this season over the distance.

However, even if she does compete over the shorter distance, Verster said Semenya would retain her main focus on her specialist 800m event.

“I think we’ll just have fun in the 400m and see how far she gets as a warm-up for the 800m, but we will decide later.”

Should she reach the 400m final, Semenya will have one day’s rest before she turns out in the 800m heats.