Caster Semenya won gold in the women’s 1500m in a personal best time and games record of four minutes 0.71 seconds (4:00.71) at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, on Tuesday.

Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech was second in 4:03.09 with Melissa Courtney of Wales taking bronze in 4:03.44.

After a delayed start due to faulty starting equipment, the athletes were forced to wait around for several minutes.

Beginning at a steady pace in the middle of the pack in lane two in wet conditions, the 800m Olympic champion Semenya was comfortable holding back in her less-favoured event.

The field went through the first 400m in 63.82, with Semenya in sixth position. At 800m the leaders went through in 2:10 with Semenya still holding her position. 

At the start of the final lap Semenya had moved into third, and made her big move at 200m to go where she grabbed the lead. On the final straight, Semenya demolished the field as she powered away down the final straight.

Semenya will be aiming for a double gold at the Commonwealth Games, as she is next scheduled to compete in the women’s 800m starting with the heats on Wednesday. 

African News Agency (ANA)