Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
27 Aug 2017
6:14 pm

Caster Semenya shatters 600m world record

Wesley Botton

South Africa's queen of the track caps off a magnificent 2017 with a dominant performance at the World Challenge in Berlin.

Caster Semenya. Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters.

Middle-distance runner Caster Semenya shattered the world best in the women’s 600m event on Sunday, taking no prisoners in a runaway victory at the World Challenge meeting in Berlin.

The world and Olympic 800m champion charged ahead at the gun and left the rest of the field behind, with even pace setter Ilona Usovich of Belarus unable to keep up, as the South African star stormed home in 1:21.77.

She took 0.86 off the previous global mark which had been held by Cuba’s Ana Quirot for more than 20 years.

Semenya, the only SA athlete participating at the meeting, also smashed her own national best of 1:25.56 which she had set in Turku in June 2012.

American athlete Ajee Wilson tried to hold on, and though she was unable to put up much of a fight for the win, she also dipped under the previous world best of 1:22.63, taking second place in 1:22.39.

Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi, the Olympic and World Championships silver medallist, finished third in 1:23.18.

After another dominant season, which included two medals at the World Championships in London and the successful defence of her Diamond League two-lap crown in Zurich, Semenya was expected to arrive back in the country on Tuesday morning.