Tag Archives: Thapelo Phora

Semenya set to attempt triple in Ostrava

After speeding to her hat-trick of Diamond League titles this week, Caster Semenya is gunning for one that is missing from her collection of major medals – the International Association of Athletics Federations(IAAF) Continental Cup.

The 27-year-old is set to attempt a triple at the two-day Czech Republic competition, which starts on Saturday. She has entered the 400m, 800m and the 4x400m relay races.

She is one of 20 South Africans who have been drafted to the 74-member Team Africa squad.

However, before her long trek to represent the continent in Ostrava, Semenya will make a stop at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Berlin, Germany, today to take part in the rarely-run 1 000m.

“The 1 000m is part of my training programme because I think we have done a good job throughout the season. We don’t want to strain the body,” she said shortly after sealing her Diamond coronation at Stadion Letzigrund in Zurich on Thursday.

“In Ostrava, we’ll start with the 400m, which is more of a technical event; you need to focus on your (starting) block and your drive, and keep up the pace and see what you can come up with.

“We focus more on the 400m and nothing else because the 800m is not much of a problem. But I’m up to the challenge,” she said.

Semenya said that what mattered was maintaining consistency.

“We are consistent and that’s what the coach (Samuel Sepeng) needs. Now it’s about being smart and healthy. We’re human and not machines,” she said.

Berlin holds bittersweet memories for Semenya as it was in this German city where she came to prominence as an 18-year-old world champion at the 2009 World Championships.

Her feat, however, catapulted her into the international spotlight following a gender row that refuses to go away.

“Berlin is more like my second home because I won my first (senior major title) there,” she said.

“The 1 000m is just to have fun and improve on my time. A good 800m runner knows what to do. I don’t want to put myself under pressure, but Berlin expects me to do well and I cannot disappoint them.”

Semenya, who holds South African records in the 400m, the 800m and the 1 500m, boasts a personal best time of 2:35.43 in the 1 000m – which she set in March.

The reigning world and Olympic champion had a stellar season despite being followed by fresh scrutiny as, on November 1 the IAAF is set to implement new eligibility regulations regarding naturally high testosterone levels in women athletes.

The new regulations are widely believed to be targeting Semenya.

She has refused to comment on this subject, but has lodged an appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport to challenge the IAAF.

Semenya will run the 4x400m relay in Ostrava with compatriot Thapelo Phora and Botswana’s Baboloki Thebe as her team-mates.

Source: sport24.co.za

Caster claims gold, smashes 18-year old 400m national record

Team South Africa was off to the perfect start on day three of the 21st African Athletics Championships in Asaba, Nigeria on Friday with Caster Semenya winning gold in the 400m event.

Semenya stopped the clock in a national record of 49.96. The record, previously held by Heide Seyerling, had stood for 18 years.

Semenya now holds national records in the 400m, 800m, 1 000m and 1 500m events.

She was followed home by Christine Botslegwe of Botswana in second while Nigeria’s Yinka Ajayi took third.

The men’s relay team of Akani Simbine, Henricho Bruintjies, Simon Magakwe and Emile Erasmusadded the second gold of the night when they won the 4x100m relay event in 38.25 beating Nigeria and Ivory Coast into second and third respectively.

Thapelo Phora added to South Africa’s medal tally by taking silver in the men’s 400m race with Cornel Fredericks claiming silver in the men’s 400m hurdles.

Linique Prinsloo Beneke then claimed bronze in the women’s long jump with a leap of 6.38 metres.

Ischke Senekal added another bronze, this time in the women’s discuss with a best throw of 53.82 metres.

South Africa lead the medal table with five golds, 7 silver and 5 bronze.


Makwala Targets Sub 31sec In 300m at Tuks

Botswana’s Isaac Makwala, who won the 400m at the inaugural Liquid Telecom Athletix Grand Prix Series Meeting in Roodepoort, Johannesburg on Thursday, 01 March, has his sights set on breaking the 31 second barrier at the University of Pretoria’s Tuks Stadium in Tshwane this coming Thursday, 08 March.

The 300m is not an often run event and as such, only three athletes have broken through the 31sec mark. These three are illustrious names indeed. Wayde van Niekerk holds the world best of 30.81sec (Ostrava, 28 June 2017), having broken the previous record set by Michael Johnson of 30.85sec (Tshwane, 24 March 2000) and Usain Bolt (30.97sec – Ostrava, 27 May 2010).

Makwala will only be the 4th athlete to go under 31sec should he accomplish the feat on Thursday, 08 March.

Clearly in a confident mood, Makwala said that if the race was in June he would be looking at the world record. But it is March, so a sub 31sec is a more realistic target. After running national records for both the 200m (19.77Ssec – 14 July) and 300m (31.44sec – Ostrava, 10 June) last year, the 31-year-old has clearly grown in confidence.

Makwala also holds the 400m national record for Botswana, 43.72sec run at La Chaux-de-Fonds in 2015.

“I did not go flat out in the 400m on Thursday (1 March) because I still had the 200m a bit later in the evening. But there is only the 300m for me this Thursday (8 March), so I feel very confident about getting close to that sub 31sec,” said Makwala.

He will line up against among others, Pieter Conradie, who was third in Ruimsig (45.77sec) and young Thapelo Phora who ran a Personal Best of 45.39sec to finish second behind Makwala in Ruimsig. Also in the field is the dangerous Ofentse Mogawane who is renowned for his aggressive front running tactics.

Source: supersport.com