Semenya yet to reach Olympic qualifying mark

Reuters, Saturday 14 Apr 2012

Semenya made her mark on world athletics when she clinched the 800m world title in Berlin in August 2009

Caster Semenya
Caster Semenya (Photo: Reuters)

Caster Semenya, the former womens' 800 metres world champion, has still not secured a place in South Africa's Olympic team despite victory at the national championships on Saturday.

Semenya won the 800m final in a time of two minutes 02.68 seconds, well short of the Olympic A qualification mark of 1:59.90 needed to compete in the London Games later this year.

She until June 30 to achieve the qualifying standard.

Semenya made her mark on world athletics when she clinched the 800m world title in Berlin in August 2009 before an enforced break of almost a year following controversial gender tests.

She lost her world title last year when she finished second at the world championships in Daegu, South Korea.

The 21-year-old Semenya, running just her second two-lap race under the tutelage of her new coach Maria Mutola, led from the front in hot and breezy conditions.

She finished comfortably ahead of the second-placed athlete Mandie Brandt, who ran 2:04.36.

Semenya did manage to improve on her season's best time of 2:03.60 but she was well short of her personal best of 1:55.45.

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