African Championships — Caster Semenya Breaks Another Barrier

Caster Semenya’s national record 49.96 put her in the 400’s sub-50 club. (BOB RAMSAK)

Asaba, Nigeria; August 01-05—The IAAF may be trying to put Caster Semenya into a club in which she has no desire to belong, but the embattled South African joined her third significant club of the year at the African Championships.

The reigning world and Olympic 800 champion is having a remarkable campaign at age 27, despite all the distractions swirling around her. Back in May she became a member of the sub-4:00 club in the 1500, winning the Doha DL in 3:59.44. At the end of June it was the 800’s 1:55 benchmark that fell as her 1:54.25 to win the Paris DL lifted her to No. 4 on the all-time world list. Here, the 50-second barrier was broached as her national record 49.96 left Caster Christine Botlogetswe of Botswana far behind at 51.19.

“It’s always been a dream to go sub-50,” said Semenya, who came in with a PR of 50.40 set 2 years ago. “I figured at the right time and with the right conditions in my favor, it would come. This was one of those races that work in your favor.”

Two days later came the 800 and Semenya ran her winning streak in that event to 27 finals with a meet record 1:56.06. “I was testing my limits and seeing how far I could go after running 49 seconds and 1:56.06 is a beautiful time,” she said. ‘I couldn’t have asked for more.” The old MR of 1:56.36 was set by Maria Mutola back in ’93.

The Kenyan women swept the steeplechase medals, with new WR holder Beatrice Chepkoech leading the way with the No. 9 performance ever, 8:59.88. Behind her, teenager Celliphine Chespol produced the No. 8 Junior time ever, 9:09.61.

Marie-Josée Ta Lou of Côte d’Ivoire scored an 11.15/22.50 sprint double, but in a meet marred by organizational difficulties she said, “I think this is my first and last time to come to Nigeria to compete.”

The best men’s event featured the year’s two fastest 800 runners, Emmanuel Korir of Kenya and Nijel Amos of Botswana, but their race was marred by a questionable start. Carole Fuchs told Athletics International that the starter shot the gun before giving the orders. Half of the field started running while the others stayed put and only started to run when those on the inside passed them. Kenya apparently lodged a complaint but it was dismissed. Amos won the race, 1:45.20–1:45.65.


AFRICAN CHAMPS MEN’S RESULTS

Asaba, Nigeria, August 01-05—

(8/01—10K; 8/02—100, LJ, SP, DT; 8/03—400, 800, St, 400H, 4×1, HJ; 8/04—110H, PV, TJ, HT)

100(-2.1): 1. Akani Simbine (SA) 10.25; 2. Arthur Gue Cissé (CI) 10.33; 3. Simon Magakwe (SA) 10.35.

200: 1. Ncincili Titi (SA) 20.46; 2. Divine Oduduru (Ngr) 20.60; 3. Luxolo Adams (SA) 20.60.

400: 1. Baboloki Thebe (Bot) 44.81; 2. Thapelo Phora (SA) 45.14 PR; 3. Chidi Okezie (Ngr) 45.65 =PR.

800: 1. Nijel Amos (Bot) 1:45.20; 2. Emmanuel Korir (Ken) 1:45.65; 3. Mostafa Smaili (Mor) 1:45.90; 4. Antoine Gakeme (Bur) 1:45.91; 5. Ferguson Cheruiyot (Ken) 1:46.33; 6. Jonathan Kitilit (Ken) 1:46.88.

1500: 1. Elijah Manangoi (Ken) 3:35.20; 2. Timothy Cheruiyot (Ken) 3:35.93; 3. Ronald Musagala (Uga) 3:36.41; 4. Ayanleh Souleiman (Dji) 3:37.18; 5. Aman Wote (Eth) 3:38.49; 6. Abdelaati Iguider (Mor) 3:39.20.

St: 1. Conseslus Kipruto (Ken) 8:26.38; 2. Soufiane El Bakkali (Mor) 8:28.01; 3. Getnet Wale (Eth) 8:30.87; 4. Amos Kirui (Ken) 8:33.83.

5000: 1. Edward Zakayo (Ken) 13:48.58; 2. Getaneh Tamire (Eth) 13:49.06; 3. Yemane Hailesilassie (Eri) 13:49.58; 4. Selemon Barega (Eth) 13:52.27.

10,000: 1. Jemal Yimer (Eth) 29:08.01; 2. Andamlak Belihu (Eth) 29:11.09; 3. Timothy Toroitich (Uga) 29:11.87.

110H: 1. Antonio Alkana (SA) 13.51; 2. Abejoye Oyeniyi (Ngr) 13.87 PR; 3. Wellington Zaza (Lbr) 13.88.

400H: 1. Abdelmalik Lahoulou (Alg) 48.47 NR; 2. Cornel Fredericks (SA) 49.40; 3. Zied Azizi (Tun) 49.48; 4. Haron Koech (Ken) 49.94.

20W: 1. Samuel Gathimba (Ken) 1:25:14; 2. Lebogang Shange (SA) 1:25:25; 2. Hassanine Sbaï (Tun) 1:25:25.

4 x 100: 1. South Africa 38.25 (Akani Simbine, Simon Magakwe, Emile Erasmus, Henricho Bruintjies); 2. Nigeria 38.74; 3. Côte d’Ivoire 38.92; 4. Zimbabwe 39.37.

4 x 400: 1. Kenya 3:00.92 (Jared Momanyi, Alphas Kishoyan, Haron Koech, Emmanuel Korir); 2. South Africa 3:03.50; 3. Nigeria 3:04.88; 4. Swaziland 3:04.98 NR; 5. Algeria 3:05.27.

Field Events

HJ: 1. Mathew Sawe (Ken) 7-6½ (2.30) =NR; 2. Chris Moleya (SA) 7-5 (2.26) =PR; 3. Mpho Links (SA) 7-½ (2.15).

PV: 1. Mohamed Amin Habib Romdhana (Tun) 17-¾ (5.20); 2. Valco Van Wyk (SA) 16-8¾ (5.10); 3. Mejdi Chehata (Tun) 16-8¾ =PR.

LJ: 1. Ruswahl Samaai (SA) 27-8¾ (8.45); 2. Luvo Manyonga (SA) 27-8 (8.43); 3. Yahya Berrabah (Mor) 26-8½w (8.14); 4. Tahar Triki (Alg) 26-3½ (8.01).

TJ: 1. Fabrice Zango Hugues (Bur) 56-1¾ (17.11) NR; 2. Khotso Mokoena (SA) 55-2¾ (16.83); 3. Tahar Triki (Alg) 55-¾ (16.78).

SP: 1. Chuk Enekwechi (Ngr) 69-2 (21.08); 2. Hamza Mohamed (Egy) 63-5 (19.33); 3. Kyle Blignaut (SA) 62-6 (19.05).

DT: 1. Victor Hogan (SA) 197-0 (60.06); 2. Werner Visser (SA) 191-0 (58.22) PR; 3. El Bachir Mbarki (Mor) 180-4 (54.97).

HT: 1. Mostafa Hicham Al-Gamal (Egy) 241-2 (73.50); 2. Islam Saad Abou Seri Mohamed (Egy) 230-8 (70.32) PR; 3. Hassan Mohamed Mahmoud (Egy) 229-4 (69.90).

JT: 1. Julius Yego (Ken) 253-9 (77.34); 2. Phil-Mar Janse van Rensburg (SA) 251-2 (76.57); 3. Samuel Kure Adams (Ngr) 248-4 (75.69) PR.

Dec(8/1-2): 1. Larbi Bouraada (Alg) 8101 (10.94, 24-3¾/7.41w, 42-½/12.81, 6-9/2.06, 48.39, 14.70, 132-1/40.27, 15-5/4.70, 219-4/66.87, 4:38.42); 2. Friedrich Pretorius (SA) 7733; 3. Samuel Osadolor (Ngr) 7095 PR.

AFRICAN CHAMPS WOMEN’S RESULTS

(8/02—100, 5K, 100H, PV, HT; 8/03—400, 1500, 4×1, LJ, DT; 8/04—10K)

100(-2.3): 1. Marie Josée Ta Lou (CI) 11.15; 2. Janet Amponsah (Gha) 11.54; 3. Joy Udo-Gabriel (Ngr) 11.58.

200: 1. Ta Lou 22.50; 2. Germaine Abdessolo Bivina (Cam) 23.36 PR; 3. Amponsah 23.38.

400: 1. Caster Semenya (SA) 49.96 NR; 2. Christine Botlogetswe (Bot) 51.19; 3. Yinka Ajayi (Ngr) 51.34.

800: 1. Caster Semenya (SA) 1:56.06; 2. Francine Niyonsaba (Bur) 1:57.97; 3. Habitam Alemu (Eth) 1:58.86; 4. Halimah Nakaayi (Uga) 1:58.90; 5. Winnie Nanyondo (Uga) 1:59.41; 6. Malika Akkaoui (Mor) 2:00.01;… dnf—Margaret Wambui (Ken).

1500: 1. Winny Chebet (Ken) 4:14.02; 2. Rabab Arrafi (Mor) 4:14.12; 3. Malika Akkaoui (Mor) 4:14.17.

St: 1. Beatrice Chepkoech (Ken) 8:59.88 (x, 9 W); 2. Celliphine Chespol (Ken) 9:09.61 (x, 8 WJ);

3. Fancy Cherono (Ken) 9:23.92 PR; 4. Woynshet Ansa (Eth) 9:27.03 PR; 5. Peruth Chemutai (Uga) 9:45.42.

5000: 1. Hellen Obiri (Ken) 15:47.18; 2. Senbere Teferi (Eth) 15:54.48; 3. Meskerem Mamo (Eth) 15:57.38.

10,000: 1. Stacy Ndiwa (Ken) 31:31.17 PR; 2. Alice Nawowuna (Ken) 31:36.12; 3. Gete Alemayehu (Eth) 32:10.68; 4. Stella Chesang (Uga) 32:29.54; 5. Mercyline Chelangat (Uga) 32:36.39.

100H: 1. Tobi Amusan (Ngr) 12.86; 2. Rikenette Steenkamp (SA) 13.18; 3. Rosvitha Okou (CI) 13.39.

400H: 1. Glory Nathaniel Onome (Ngr) 55.53; 2. Lamiae Lhabze (Mor) 56.66; 3. Wenda Nel (SA) 57.04.

20W: 1. Yehualeye Beletew (Eth) 1:31:47 NR; 2. Grace Njue (Ken) 1:35:54; 3. Chahineze Nasri (Tun) 1:37:28.

4 x 100: 1. Nigeria 43.77; 2. Côte d’Ivoire 44.40.

4 x 400: 1. Nigeria 3:31.17; 2. Kenya 3:35.45; 3. Zambia 3:38.18.

Field Events

HJ: 1. Ghizlane Siba (Mor) 6-0 (1.83) =PR; 2. Erika Seyama (Swa) 5-10¾ (1.80) =NR; 3. Hoda Hagras (Egy) 5-10¾ PR.

PV: 1. Dorra Mahfoudhi (Tun) 13-5¼ (4.10); 2. Dina Ahmed Al-Tabaa (Egy) 13-3½ (4.05) NR.

LJ: 1. Ese Brume (Ngr) 22-5 (6.83) =PR; 2. Marthe Yasmine Koala (Bur) 21-5½w (6.54); 3. Linque Beneke (SA) 20-11¼ (6.38).

TJ: 1. Grace Anigbata (Ngr) 46-0 (14.02) PR; 2. Zinzi Chanbangu (SA) 44-7 (13.59); 3. Lerato Schele (Les) 43-8 (13.31).

SP: 1. Ischke Senekal (SA) 56-6¾ (17.24); 2. Jessica Inchude (GBi) 55-0 (16.76); 3. Meike Strydom (SA) 52-5½ (15.99).

DT: 1. Chioma Onyekwere (Ngr) 190-7 (58.09) PR; 2. Chinwe Okoro (Ngr) 188-2 (57.37); 3. Ischke Senekal (SA) 176-7 (53.82).

HT: 1. Soukana Zakkour (Mor) 224-0 (68.28) NR; 2. Temi Ogunrinde (Ngr) 221-1 (67.39); 3. Jennifer Batu (Con) 217-11 (66.43) NR.

Hept(8/1-2): 1. Odile Ahouanwanou (Ben) 5999; 2. Marthe Yasmine Koala (Bur) 5967; 3. Hoda Hagras (Egy) 4646 PR. □

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