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Athletics | SA Track & Field

Caster Semenya © Gallo Images

Semenya wins in pedestrian return

Caster Semenya won her first race after a lengthy injury layoff on Wednesday night, but fell well short in her attempt to qualify for next month's IAAF World Championships.

Semenya clocked a pedestrian 2:06.58 to win the women's 800m race at the Lahti Games in Finland – her first competitive outing since last year's London Olympic Games, after recovering from a long-term knee injury.

Charlene Lipsey of the United States finished second in 2:06.96.

Semenya's agent, Jukka Harkonen, said earlier this week she had no other races scheduled, but he had previously confirmed she would attempt to meet the 2:00.00 standard for the global spectacle in Moscow, Russia, before the July 29 deadline.

The 22-year-old Olympic silver medallist is hoping to step on the podium at the biennial world championships for the third time in succession, after winning gold in Berlin in 2009 and silver in Daegu in 2011.

Meanwhile, fellow South African Zarck Visser won the men's long jump in Lahti with a best leap of 8.09m.

Countryman Khotso Mokoena finished third in a closely fought contest with a jump of 8.06m.

Ignisious Gaisah, born in Ghana but now competing for the Netherlands, took second place with a best effort of 8.08m.

South African record holder Ruben Ramolefi was eighth in the men's 3000m steeplechase in 8:54.56. Jonathan Ndiku of Kenya won the race in 8:25.08.


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