RABAT – Caster Semenya ran a world-leading 1:56.64 to win the women’s 800m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rabat on Sunday (22).
Semenya held good pace throughout the early goings in the contest before effortlessly switching gears in the final 100m to sprint away from Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba, who ran a season’s 1:57.74 for second place.
The South African 2009 World Championships gold medallist from Berlin, improved her own previous world-leading time of 1:58.26, which was set at the opening IAAF Diamond League meeting in Doha, on 6 May.
The 25-year-old owns a personal best of 1:55.45.
Besides Semenya and Niyonsaba, four other athletes broke the two-minute mark, with Renelle Lamote (FRA) 1:58.84 PB, Eunice Sum (KEN) 1:59.32, Lynsey Sharp (GBR) 1:59.51 and Habitat Alemu (ETH) 1:59.70.
In the men’s race, France’s Pierre-Ambroise Bosse ran 1:44.51 to hold off Algeria’s Taoufik Makhloufi finishing second in 1:44.91, with Amel Tuka (BIH) 1:45.41 taking third.
Nijel Amos (BOT), one of the race favourites, finished sixth in 1:47.34.
Meanwhile, also posting a world-leading time at the Diamond League meeting in Rabat, on Sunday was Kenya’s Conseslus Kipruto, who ran a time of 8:02.77 to win the men’s 3000m Steeple, Abdelaati Iguider of Morocco, who ran 7:36.85 to win the men’s 3000m and Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, the women’s 5000m champion with a time of 14:16.31, although she fell just short in her attempt to break Tirunesh Dibaba’s world record.
In the sprints, Jamaica’s world 200m silver medallist Elaine Thompson clocked a season’s best time of 11.02 seconds to win the women’s 100m (-1.3 m/s), beating Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria (11.11) and Jamaica’s Kerron Stewart (11.19). American 2011 world champion Carmelita.
Alonso Edward of Panama ran a wind-aided 20.07 (+3.8 m/s) to secure the men’s 200m crown, while American LaShawn Merritt pulled away to land the men’s 400m crown in a 44.64 secs.
Janeive Russell of Jamaica set a personal best of 54.16 to win the women’s 400m hurdles, with American David Oliver (13.12) leaning in to edge out Spain’s Orlando Ortega (13.13) for the men’s 110m hurdles title.