Semenya, Heidler win at Dakar Grand Prix
World champion Caster Semenya ran her fastest time this season to win the women's 800 metres at the IAAF World Challenge Dakar Grand Prix on Saturday.
The South African led the field throughout at Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium in her first international meet of 2011, crossing in 2 minutes, 0.61 seconds - more than a second quicker than her previous best this year.
World record-holder Betty Heidler won the women's hammer throw with 75.33 metres. The German couldn't get close to the 79.42 she threw to set a new world mark just a week ago, but still dominated the event ahead of Jessica Cosby of the United States in second with 69.53 metres.
Former Olympic 200-metre champion Shawn Crawford of the US took the men's 200 in 20.58 seconds, while Aziz Ouhadi of Morocco won the 100 in 10.09. Crawford was way off the pace in the 100 with 10.37.
The 20-year-old Semenya continued her buildup to the defense of her two-lap title at the world championships in Daegu, South Korea in August with a fifth win in five races this season, easing away from Cuba's Yusneysi Caballero.
Semenya bettered the season-best 2:01.77 she ran in a provincial meet in South Africa in March, but is still to dip under two minutes this year -the target ahead of her 2011 Diamond League debut at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon next weekend.
"The race was not easy as I did not achieve my best time," Semenya said. "I will try next time."
A gender controversy sidelined Semenya for most of 2010 and a back injury then prevented her competing at the end-of-season Commonwealth Games after she was cleared to run.
The world champion had made steady early season progress running at home, but in her first race outside South Africa this year she was still some way off the form that saw her blow away the competition to win at the 2009 worlds as a teenager in 1:55.45.
A week after her world record in Halle, the 27-year-old Heidler was too strong for the rest of the field in Senegal, producing five throws better than second-place Cosby. Tatyana Lysenko of Russia was third with 68.13 metres.
Athens 2004 Olympic champion and Beijing silver medallist Crawford said he had been well-tested in the men's 200 as he held off Ben Youssef Meite of Ivory Coast by just 0.02 seconds. Zimbabwe's Brian Dzingai - who was fourth in the 2008 Olympic final - was third in Dakar in 20.77 seconds.
Ouhadi's 10.09 in the 100 was his second Moroccan national record in two weeks. Meite was second again in 10.21 seconds, while Crawford could only manage the eighth-fastest time.
In the men's 400 hurdles, 22-year-old American Johnny Dutch - a former world junior silver medallist - upset in-form South African Cornel Fredericks. Dutch won in 49.17, ahead of Fredericks (49.39) and Britain's Jack Green (49.88).
1. Aziz Ouhadi (Morocco) - 10.09s
2. Ben Youssef Meite (Cote D'Ivoire) - 10.21
3. Jimmy Vicaut (France) - 10.23
1. Shawn Crawford (U.S.) - 20.58s
2. Ben Youssef Meite (Cote D'Ivoire) - 20.60
3. Brian Dzingai (Zimbabwe) - 20.77
1. Rabah Yousif (Sudan) - 45.64s
2. Jordan Boase (U.S.) - 45.65
3. William Collazo (Cuba) - 45.89
1. Amine Laalou (Morocco) - 1min 46.65s
2. Job Kinyor (Kenya) - 1:46.91
3. Edwin Kemboi (Kenya) - 1:47.18
1. Mohamed Moustaoui (Morocco) - 7mins 43.99secs
2. Joseph Kitur Kiplimo (Kenya) - 7:44.12
3. Patrick Mugur Ereng (Kenya) - 7:44.16
Men's 400m Hurdles
1. Johnny Dutch (U.S.) - 49.17s
2. Cornel Fredericks (South Africa) - 49.39
3. Jack Green (Britain) - 49.88
Men's High Jump
1. Aleksey Dmitrik (Russia) - 2.30m
2. Kabelo Kgosiemang (Botswana) - 2.20
3. Osku Torro (Finland) - 2.18
Men's Long Jump
1. Aleksandr Menkov (Russia) - 8.16m
2. Yahya Berrabah (Morocco) - 7.89
3. Tyrone Smith (Bermuda) - 7.79
Men's Shot Put
1. Carlos Veliz (Cuba) - 20.18m
2. Chang Ming Huang (Taiwan) - 19.79
3. Dorian Scott (Jamaica) - 19.12
1. Delphine Atangana (Cameroon) - 11.41s
2. Agnes Osazuwa (Nigeria) - 11.43
3. Anna Gurova (Russia) - 11.46
1. Amantle Montsho (Botswana) - 22.88s
2. Lina Jacques-Sebastien (France) - 23.44
3. Monica Hargrove (U.S.) - 23.52
1. Patricia Hall (Jamaica) - 52.01s
2. Keshia Baker (U.S.) - 52.39
3. Muriel Hurtis-Houairi (France) - 52.61
1. Caster Semenya (South Africa) - 2mins 00.61s
2. Yusneysi Caballero (Cuba) - 2:01.06
3. Maryna Arzamasava (Belarus) - 2:01.97
Women's 400m Hurdles
1. Nicole Leach (U.S.) - 57.19s
2. Christine Spence (U.S.) - 57.44
3. Muizat Ajoke Odumosu (Nigeria) - 58.08
Women's Long Jump
1. Funmi Jimoh (U.S.) - 6.78m
2. Ineta Radevica (Latvia) - 6.60
3. Tianna Madison (U.S.) - 6.58
Women's Shot Put
1. Misleydis Gonzalez (Cuba) - 18.36m
2. Cleopatra Borel-Brown (Trinidad and Tobago) - 18.28
3. Josephine Terlecki (Germany) - 17.56
Women's Hammer Throw
1. Betty Heidler (Germany) - 75.33m
2. Jessica Cosby (U.S.) - 69.53
3. Tatyana Lysenko (Russia) - 68.13