Monday, 21 May, 2018

Semenya defiant after sweeping to double

South Africa's Caster Semenya on her way to victory in the women's 800m final during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at Carrara Stadium. AFP Semenya wins 800m gold at Commonwealth Games
Preston Stone | 14 April, 2018, 12:39

South Africa's Semenya, who already had the 1500m gold in her suitcase, finished nearly two seconds clear of Kenyan Margaret Nyairera Wambui and Jamaican Natoya Goule.

After the race, she revealed how anti-apartheid hero Mandela, who died two weeks ago after a long illness, had helped her through adversity.

"She was a friend and always told me to be myself, to love myself - don't listen to the noise, don't entertain nonsense", said Semenya, who has a condition known as hyperandrogenism. When I go back they know what I'm doing.

Semenya beat a strong field, with Kenya's Margaret Mambui claiming silver, and Jamaica's Natalie Goule rounding off the podium position with a bronze medal.

While giving little away as to whether she will attempt the middle-distance double at the two major championships in the next couple of years, she did give a glimpse into where her longer term future might lie.

"I't to learn to handle myself to face the world".

'Obviously, I'd like to do this 800/1500m double at the next world championships and Olympics and I'll probably be more emotional then but this is like a ladder, another step upwards'.

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England's Katarina Johnson-Thompson triumphed in the women's heptathlon, with team-mate Niamh Emerson taking Bronze, while Nigeria's Oluwatobiloba Amusan capitalised on the absence of Australia's Sally Pearson to win the women's 100m hurdles.

The twice Olympic 800 metres champion put in a commanding performance in the 800 metres on Friday night to add another gold to the one she had already won in the 1,500m.

"I can't be selfish anymore, it's not just me", Adams said. "I just spoke to my mum - she was crying as always".

If ever there was a golden banker for Team South Africa at these Games, it was going to be the double Olympic 800m and reigning world champion.

Olympic and world steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto led a Kenyan medals sweep in the 3,000m steeplechase with a Games record of 8:10.08, as world silver medallist Joshua Cheptegei won the men's 10,000m in a Commonwealth best 27:19.62 to complete a long-distance double.

Canada's Alysha Newman set a games record 4.75 meters to win the pole vault, beating McCartney by 5 centimeters. "The judging here hasn't been that great", he said after winning a fifth Commonwealth medal.

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