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Semenya takes up new challenge

Caster Semenya might conquer a new distance this season judging by what happened on Saturday during the Gauteng North Athletics Championships at Tuks where she went on to win the 5000m.

Her winning time of 16:11.59 is nothing to get excited, but then again it did not seem as if Semenya was seriously racing. It was more like she was getting a feel for what running the 5000m might entail if she should be forced by the IAAF to change events.

For the first few laps of the 5000m Semenya, Xaba Glenrose and the youth athlete, Carmie Prinsloo, were taking turns to set the pace. As expected it was Semenya who slowly but surely turned up the heat starting to lap most of the other athletes.

Over the last three laps, Glenrose was also not able to keep up.

She eventually was second in 16:53.61 with Prinsloo third in 17:11.13. Earlier the morning Semenya won the 1500m in 4:14.69.

Saturday’s highlight was undoubtedly the performance of the Tuks hammer thrower, Margo Pretorius, who won in 61.75m becoming only the third South African female athlete to go past 60 metres. Her previous best was the 59.14m she threw during last year’s inaugural World Cup in London.

The other local athletes to have gone past 60 metres are Letitia Janse van Vuuren who set a new South African record in 2017 with her effort of 63.82m. Annemie Smith threw 60.99m in 2015.

In spite of being confident Pretorius admits being slightly surprised by her performance. –Supersport.com

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