Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Sekgodiso is done with 5,000m but she still wants 1,500m record

The middle-distance runner will be targeting Semenya's mark (3:59.92) later this season.

Her latest attempt to expand her range has put Prudence Sekgodiso off the idea of running a 5,000m race again in her career, but the middle-distance specialist remains confident that she can break Caster Semenya’s national 1,500m record.

Sekgodiso competed in the 5,000m race on the opening day of the SA Athletics Championships on Thursday, but she finished well off the pace of Glenrose Xaba after fading on the final lap.

She returned to the track on Sunday, however, storming to victory in the 1,500m final in 4:13.09.

Chasing the record

While she admitted she was unlikely to attempt the 5,000m distance again, and had already said Semenya’s SA 800m record was beyond her reach at this stage of her career, the 22-year-old athlete maintained the belief that she could have a crack at the metric mile mark.

Having focussed on the 800m distance in recent years, Sekgodiso set a 1,500m personal best of 4:09.88 in 2022. But if she could adjust her training accordingly, she hoped to challenge Semenya’s record (3:59.92) which was set in 2018.

“I have speed from the 800m, so that’s nothing to worry about. We just need to focus on the 1,500m training,” she said.

“My coach (Samuel Sepeng) and I must have a plan of how we’re going to attack the SA record, but we still need to sit down and do that.

“I’m not sure yet where I will make an attempt but I definitely want to do it this year.”

Other results

In other events on Sunday’s final day of competition at the national championships, Jerry Motsau won a tactical men’s 1,500m race in 3:38.82, Marione Fourie successfully defended her title in the women’s 100m hurdles (13.01) and SW Nel won the men’s 110m hurdles final (13.73).

In field events, Olympic finalist Kyle Blignaut (CGA) took the men’s shot put with a best heave of 20.36 metres, and Mire Reinstorf was triumphant in the women’s pole vault, clearing the bar at 4.15m.

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