Caster Semenya to race her maiden 1‚000m in Pretoria
Caster Semenya will race her maiden 1‚000m when she competes alongside world 100m champion Justin Gatlin at the Athletix Grand Prix meet in Pretoria on March 8‚ organisers said.
Semenya says if she feels good on the day she might go for the South African record of 2min 37.20sec‚ set by Ilse de Kock Wicksell in 1983.
“My training is going very well‚” Semenya said in a statement issued by the organisers.
“I am fit‚ I am confident and if the conditions are right‚ I may just see how close I can get to the record.
"It does depend on the pace of the race. If the time is on‚ I will try and chase it.”
The required pace translates into a 2min 05.76sec 800m – comfortably slower than her 1:55.16 national record – or a 3:55.80sec 1500m‚ which is substantially quicker than her 4:01.99 personal best.
It would also equate into a 1:34.32 600m‚ where Semenya holds the 1:21.77 world best.
Olympic champion Semenya regained her 800m crown at the world championships in London last year‚ but took the bronze medal in the 1500m.
The 1000m is not a championship distance and is seldom run‚ like the 150m dash that Gatlin will do at the same meet.
Semenya‚ who clocked 51sec over 400m in Pretoria at the weekend‚ plans to race the 800m at the SA championships in Pretoria from March 15-17 and the 1500m at the final Athletix GP meet in Paarl on March 22.
Tickets for the three-meet GP series have gone on sale‚ ranging from R50 to R100. The series opens at Ruimsig on March 1.