Semenya breaks SA record in Monaco

South Africa’s Caster Semenya broke her national record in the women’s 800m event on Friday night, clocking 1:55.33 to win the women’s two-lap contest at the Diamond League meeting in Monaco.

With this win, Semanya remains unbeaten this season in her specialist event, as she sets her sights on a gold medal at next month’s Rio Olympics.

Semenya chopped 0.12 off the South Africa’s mark of 1:55.45 she had set when she won the world title in Berlin in 2009.

Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi took second place, also setting a national record of 1:56.24, as Semenya dragged six women under the 1:58.00 barrier.

In a related development, compatriot and world’s 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk was also victorious at the ninth leg of the top-flight Diamond League series, as he and Semenya led a strong eight-member South African contingent in Monaco.

Van Niekerk crossed the line in 44.12, just 0.01 outside his season’s best to win the men’s one-lap dash.

IAAF/TAHIR