Semenya's got the range to sign Tokyo Olympic ticket

Find out why @wesbotton believes Caster Semenya has it in her to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

2021-06-19 09:09:00 AM

Find out why wesbotton believes Caster Semenya has it in her to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

Semenya will have another go at the Olympic 5,000m qualifying standard at a meeting in Germany on Saturday night.

A few years ago I took a bet with colleagues - I think it had something to do with streaking - that Caster Semenya would not dip under four minutes in the 1,500m final at the national championships. She was new to the distance and, thankfully for me and the spectators at the stadium, she didn't break the barrier. She would, however, go on to become a world-class athlete in the metric mile. And while she has always been better in the 800m event - winning three world titles and two Olympic gold medals - Semenya has earned African and...

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A few years ago I took a bet with colleagues – I think it had something to do with streaking – that Caster Semenya would not dip under four minutes in the 1,500m final at the national championships.She was new to the distance and, thankfully for me and the spectators at the stadium, she didn’t break the barrier.

She would, however, go on to become a world-class athlete in the metric mile. And while she has always been better in the 800m event – winning three world titles and two Olympic gold medals – Semenya has earned African and Commonwealth titles at the longer distance. headtopics.com

She also secured 1,500m bronze at the 2017 World Championships in London and set a national record of 3:59.92 in Doha in 2018.ALSO READ:A race against time as Wayde, Caster chase Olympic qualifiersThis doesn’t prove that Semenya can be competitive over 5,000m, but it does indicate that she has a range unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

Her initial attempts to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics – after being suspended from the 400m, 800m and 1,500m events – have not been successful.Semenya, however, has proved once again that she is capable.Earlier this season she won the national 5,000m title at altitude in Pretoria, and three weeks ago she clocked 15:32.15 at the Newton Classic Qualifier meeting in Durban.

ALSO READ:Osaka withdraws from Wimbledon, targets OlympicsDespite the efforts of training partner Glenrose Xaba to help set the pace, however, Semenya needs to get into a faster race.While it was considered a blow to her qualifying hopes that the African Championships had been cancelled, she has now headed to Europe to keep her Tokyo dream alive.

She will have another go at the Olympic qualifying standard (15:10.00) at a meeting in Regensburg, Germany on Saturday night, and this time she will have the likes of in-form athlete Stella Rutto and Commonwealth Games 10,000m bronze medallist Mercyline Chelangat for company. headtopics.com

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Though she is bigger and stronger than most 5,000m athletes, with the distance generally attracting smaller, leaner individuals – much like perennial rival Francine Niyonsaba who has already qualified for the 12-and-a-half lap event – Semenya must do what she can with what she has until her court battle against international gender rules is concluded.

She has a tough challenge ahead of her just to get to Tokyo, but she will be knocking on the door this weekend and she has a real chance of signing her ticket to the Games.I bet against her once. I wouldn’t do it again. Read more: The Citizen News »

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