Gay steams to glory, Semenya outshone

US sprinter Tyson Gay overcame a false start to steam to victory in the 100m at the season’s final Diamond League meet here on Friday, but Caster Semenya failed in her bid to win the women’s 800m.

In a season which has seen Jamaican duo Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell sidelined through injury, Gay settled his nerves after a starter’s error to clock 9,79 seconds to be crowned the season’s top performer in the event, netting $40 000.

Jamaican duo Nesta Carter (9,85 personal best) and Yohan Blake (9,91) completed the podium.

“I’m kind of pleased with the time but not with the race as I didn’t execute my start,” said Gay, whom many in the crowd thought had false-started — something that would have led to him being disqualified, the organisers’ nightmare.

“I didn’t fale start,” he stressed. “I think someone’s box slipped. But the cameras kept zooming in on me. It made me nervous and threw me out a bit.

“I’m pleased with my last 30 metres. My plan [this season] was to be victorious.”

Semenya, South Africa’s reigning 800m world champion, could only finish third in her debut in the Diamond League.

The 19-year-old was racing in only her fourth outing since returning from 11 months on the sidelines following a controversial investigation by IAAF, the sport’s governing body, into her gender.

She dropped immediately into last spot in the field and still had six runners ahead of her at 200m.

Kenya’s Janeth Jepkosgei dominated the race and won in 1:58,82, with Russian Mariya Savinova coming home in second.

Semenya produced a spurt for third with a season’s best of 1:59,65, a way off the 1:55,45 time that won her the world title last year.

“The race was very tactical but also very quick,” Semenya said.

“I was never up there with the leaders.”

In a good night for Kenyan athletes, newly-crowned world record holder David Rudisha won the 800m title, winning in 1:43,50 ahead of Sudan’s Abubaker Kaki in a close sprint finish.

Rudisha’s compatriot Asbel Kiprop won the 1 500m in 3:32,18, American Leonel Manzano producing a fantastic sprint for second, with title contender Augustine Choge in third.

And Vivian Cheruiyot made it four Kenyan titles in one night when she outpaced Ethiopian Sentayehu Ejigu to win the 5000m in 14:34,14.

In the women’s events, Canada’s Priscilla Lopes-Schliep took victory in the 100m hurdles in 12,54, with closest rival Lolo Jones of the United States only managing fifth.

Yargelis Savigne claimed the triple-jump title despite finishing second to Kazakh Olga Rypakova and level in the overall standings, the Cuban getting the nod for the title because of her superior
number of victories throughout the season.

France’s world indoor champ Teddy Tamgho produced the goods on his fourth and final effort (17,52m) to win the men’s triple jump ahead of Cuba’s Alexis Copello and Swedish veteran Christian Olsson. – AFP

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Luke Phillips
Luke Phillips works from Beckenham, Kent, UK. Writer, wordsmith and blogger interested in the natural and not so natural worlds around us. My first novel 'Shadow Beast' out now! Luke Phillips has over 566 followers on Twitter.

Related stories

ASA and athletes view Doha disaster differently

Wanted: A single hymn sheet from which Athletics South Africa and its athletes can sing to improve their medal haul at the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo

Etzebeth ‘full out’ for World Cup despite assault case

Etzebeth, 27, allegedly insulted, assaulted and pointed a gun at a 42-year-old homeless man in Langebaan in August

Simbine sprints out of Bolt’s shadow

With the Jamaican out of the picture, South Africa’s favourite in a new generation of sprinters may just snatch the gold

Ford, on the road to freedom

Cape Town-based radio technical producer Brett Kannemeyer only ever idolised one kind of motor vehicle — Ford

‘I’m targeted because I’m undefeated’ — Caster

The 28 year-old has been embroiled in a bitter legal battle with the IAAF over rules that force female athletes to regulate their testosterone levels

What we talk about when we talk about Caster Semenya

Semenya's fight tells us much about how the world sees black women, especially as they compete for gold.

Ingonyama Trust Board moves to retrench staff

More than 50 workers at the Ingonyama Trust Board have been issued section 189 notices

No proof of Covid-19 reinfection, yet

Some people report testing positive for Covid-19 after initially having the disease and then testing negative. Scientists are still trying to understand if this means that reinfection is possible

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday