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Ken Borland

Semenya wins, but misses qualifying time

Posted on March 26, 2012 by Ken

Former world champion Caster Semenya made a winning return to 800m action on Saturday in Potchefstroom, but failed to reach the Olympic qualifying standard.

Semenya won the 800m in the second leg of the Yellow Pages Series in Potchefstroom, clocking 2:03.60, well outside the Olympic qualifer of 1:59.90.

The 2009 world champion and 2011 World Championship silver-medallist said she was sorry she had not set the pace earlier in a slow-paced race.

“I ran a little stupidly because I didn’t take the lead from the beginning. I thought they would push the pace, but we all learn from our mistakes.

“Everyone knows the Olympics is the most important thing this year, so I must set the qualifying time, and we’ll take it from there,” Semenya told reporters after the race.

Semenya was embroiled in a controversy over her gender after her 2009 triumph in Berlin, and the IAAF ordered her to undergo gender testing.

In July 2010 she was cleared to run in women’s events, but is currently returning to full fitness after a back problem disrupted her season last year.

The 21-year-old stayed with the pack for the first 300 metres on Saturday, but broke away before the end of the first lap and slowly pulled clear of the other competitors on the second lap to win comfortably.

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