World 800m champion Caster Semenya says she has her sights set on the 800m and 1 500m world records.
In a campaign document labelled “Quest for Double Glory” — which was released by her public relations team on Monday night — Semenya listed her short-term and long-term goals.
She said in the statement she had overcome a difficult period after being cleared last year to run against women following gender tests conducted in 2009, and was confident of improving the global standard in both middle distance events.
“I am not defeated and am definitely not dejected,” Semenya said in the statement.
“I have grown strong in the midst of adversity and outcast.
“I will not be defined by any institution or perceptions of others but by what I am and what I stand for.”
A better personal best
Semenya (20) is ranked only 13th in the world this year in the 800m discipline, clocking 1:58.61 to finish third at the Diamond League meeting in Oslo in June.
She is also ranked 13th on the world all-time list but would need to run more than two seconds faster than her 1:55.45 South African record to improve Jarmila Kratochvilova’s 28-year-old global mark.
Semenya set her 1 500m personal best of 4:08.01 when she won the 2009 African junior title.
Her fastest this year over the longer distance, however, is a pedestrian 4:12.93, and she would need to improve her lifetime best by more than 17 seconds to improve the 18-year-old global mark held by Yunxia Qu.
Semenya also repeated in the statement her aim to win the 800m and 1 500m titles at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea — which starts at the end of August — and next year’s London Olympic Games.
She is unlikely, however, to be selected by Athletics South Africa for the metric mile at the global championships after falling more than four seconds short of the B-qualifying standard. — Sapa