Tag Archives: Maria Mutola

Laura Muir to attack world 1000m record in Birmingham

The Tokyo Olympic 1500m silver medallist Laura Muir will target the 1000m world indoor record at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham – a World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting which will be held on Saturday (19) at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham.

Muir, the 2018 world indoor 1500m silver medallist, is the European indoor 1000m record holder having clocked 2:31.93 in Birmingham in 2017. The current world record is held by Maria Mutola from Mozambique , the Olympic 800m champion in Sydney 2000, who ran 2:30.94 in Stockholm in 1999.

The 28 years-old is a multiple European indoor champion, is determined to get her year off to a strong start at the Birmingham meeting, which takes place in exactly one month’s time and which forms part of the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold series.

“I’m currently out in South Africa continuing my preparations for the 2022 season, so it will be exciting to get a chance to race indoors and I’m looking forward to testing myself over 1000m at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham,” said the 28-year-old, who also holds the European indoor record over 3000m.

“I had an incredible year in 2021 and it was fun to finish it off by racing in Scotland over cross country, but it’s time to get back to running fast times on the track. Birmingham holds many fond memories for me winning two medals at the World Indoor Championships and breaking a number of national records.

“I ran the British and European record of 2:31.93 on this track in 2017 which made me the second fastest of all time over the distance, so I would love to try and go one better and break the world indoor record.

“It won’t be an easy record to break – it has stood since 1999 – but the track is fast and the crowds in Birmingham are great, so hopefully I can run it close.”

Throughout the series, each athlete’s best three results will count towards their overall points score. The athlete with the most points in each scoring discipline at the end of the tour will be declared the winner and will be awarded a USD$10,000 bonus along with a wild card entry for the World Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade in March.

The Müller Indoor Grand Prix is the fifth meeting of the 2022 World Athletics Indoor Tour (Gold). There are seven ‘Gold’ level meetings across the series, starting with Karlsruhe on January 28 and culminating in Madrid on March 2.

Semenya breaks 25-year-old 800m African record

World champion Caster Semenya led from the front again as South Africa continued their fine form on the final day of the 21st African Athletics Championships in Asaba.

Semenya took her second gold medal in Nigeria, this time in the women’s 800m final on Sunday.

The two-time Olympic champion stopped the clock in a time of 1:56.06 at the Stephen Keshi Stadium.

Semenya broke a African record held by her idol Maria Mutola, which the Mozambican icon ran at the 1993 African Championships in Durban (1:56.36).

Burundian Francine Niyonsaba took silver in 1:57.97 and Bayih Habitam Alemu of Ethiopia took bronze in a time of 1:58.86.

On Friday, Semenya smashed a 18-year-old national record previously held by Heide Seyerling in the women’s 400m final – becoming the first SA woman to dip under 50 seconds.

Source: sport24.co.za

Caster Semenya chasing history

Caster Semenya is chasing history at GC2018, a rare 800 and 1500m double and a clean sweep of all major titles including Olympics, world championships and Commonwealth Games.

There is also the small matter of the 800m world record which has stood for 35 years.

The South African describes herself as ‘strong, fearless and unbelievable’ – and there is no question she has already left an indelible mark on the sport of athletics.

The two-time Olympic and three-time world champion is competing at her first Commonwealth Games.

The motivation to further cement her legacy is clear.

“I’m very excited because it will be my first senior Commonwealth Games so for me it means a lot,” Semenya told Fairfax.

I know if I get a medal I’ll have all major titles, and for my country it will be a blessing.

“My country have given me love, courage, respect, recognition and appreciated me for [who] I am, that’s for free, we call it humanity (Ubuntu), I couldn’t have asked for more.”

Semenya claimed two Olympic and three world titles in her pet event the 800m, but she is adding the 1500m to her program in an attempt to clinch a historic double.

At the 2017 World Championships in London she finished third in the longer distance after winning the 800m title.

Semenya has dominated the 800, but the step up in distance is a much harder race for her to conquer.

“For its very important to master the skills especially in middle distance,” she said.

We want to be better and take this to another level in sporting history. 

“Preparation are very hard to be honest because you need to be able to do lot of distance, speed endurance and pure speed, we had to increase the programme so we can be strong and maintain throughout the season.

“Yes [the 1500m] is more demanding because we run a moderate pace, then out of nowhere pace just dramatically change, so you must always be prepared to move anytime.

“[It’s] very difficult because you need to be able to judge pace well and know when is the right time to move.  If you make a mistake you [are] out.”

The 27-year-old still has time to add to her incredible sporting history. Her idol growing up, Maria Mutola, raced until she was 35, competing in a staggering six Olympic Games.

There is a definite sense that Semenya wants to do something special at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“To be honest we train very hard but smart, you need to train enough and be able to maintain through out the week,” she said.

“As for sacrifices it goes to nice time, you never out with friends due training and sometimes you stay far away from family for long time. It’s all about training, eat and sleep.”

But her approach to racing, much like anything else is a very simple philosophy.

“I tell myself that I’m a human and I feel,” she said.

“So whatever outcome of a race I accept it and the main thing is to finish my race no matter what.

“As people if we can learn to love one another and respect each other and also appreciate others for who they are we can be a great nation.

“For me I don’t think it’s important to focus on who comes out, I think as a human I want to be respected as other will want the same, what I’m  saying is that no one has to explain to anyone that they are gay or lesbian or whatever they are,  when you walk out there you are just a human like any other.”