Doha: Caster Semenya set a new personal best a new South African national record and the World leading time as she eased to 1500M victory 3:59.92sec in the Doha Diamond League on Friday.
Semenya was sizing up the field somewhere in the middle at the Qatar Sports Club Stadium as pacesetter Yarigo Noelie of Benin set about with her job.
But the South African, who is again in the eye of a storm after IAAF unveiled new rules to counteract hyperandrogenism— the medical condition which causes women to produce high levels of male sex hormones, proved the new controversy has not affected much in terms of her performance on the field as she powered her way to victory.
"I wanted to go faster, but had to slow down a little. It's always been a dream to set the NR and continue to push beyond my PB, and I think we definitely achieved what we came here for,” said Semenya. “I want to maintain this momentum throughout the season, but will also make sure I continue to keep healthy. My immediate next step is to go back and watch the race, and see where we can improve.”
Kenya’s Kelly Jepkosgei took silver in 4:00.99sec while Ethiopia’s Alemu Habitam claimed the bronze with a timing of 4:01.41.
Meanwhile in women’s 100M, Marie Jose Ta Lou of Ivory Coast stunned a high-profile field to win gold with a time of 10.85 which was her personal best.
Ighoteg Okagbare of Nigeria took silver in 10.90 while Olympic champion Elaine Thompson of Jamaica had to be content with bronze (10.93).
Earlier in women’s discus throw, Sandra Perkovic of Croatia set a new Diamond League record of 71.38 for a comfortable victory. Yaime Perez of Cuba won silver (66.82) while Denia Caballero of Cuba took the bronze (63.80).
In the men’s 3000M steeplechase, Ethiopian Chala Beyo won gold in 8:13.71 finishing ahead of Kenya’s Lawrence Kemboi 8:15.07 and Emmanuel Kiprono 8:16.24.
In the men’s triple jump Cuban Pablo Pichardo shocked world and Olympic champion Christian Taylor. While Pichardo cleared a distance of 17.95, Taylor only managed 17.81.
Azerbaijan’s Alexis Copello took bronze with an attempt of 17.21.
In the men’s javelin throw, dominated by German athletes, Thomas Rohler won gold with an effort of 91.78. Johannes Vetter took silver (91.56) and Andreas Hoffman claimed bronze (90.08).
In the men’s 200m USA’s Lyles Noah won gold in 19.83, Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards took bronze (19.99) and Ramil Gulivey of Turkey settled for silver (20.11).