— LetsRun.com (@letsrundotcom) June 30, 2018
South Africa’s queen of the 800m, Caster Semenya, set herself a new PB at Paris Diamond League on Saturday, in a race in which pace rabbits were not used. (Semenya was offered a pacemaker, and declined.) Her time of 1:54.26 was more than a second and a half ahead of second-place finisher Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi, and it represents a meet record, Diamond League record, world leading time for 2018, and the fourth-fastest time in history. (The world record is 1:53.28, set in 1983.)
This was Semenya’s 37th consecutive race victory.
Niyonsaba’s time of 1:55.86 was a season’s best. The USA’s Ajee Wilson finished third, in a time of 1:57.11.
Semenya’s previous PB was 1:55.16, set at the IAAF World Championships in London in August 2017.
Many speculate that, with the IAAF’s new rule limiting testosterone levels in female athletes, Semenya knows her time on the world stage is limited (the new ruling takes effect in November), and she intends to go out with a bang. She has indicated she will challenge the ruling with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
In other Paris Diamond League results, Abderrahman Samba of Qatar ran 46.98 in the men’s 400m hurdles, only the second man ever to run sub-47. (The world record of 46.78 seconds was set by Kevin Young of the US in 1992.)
Only the second man EVER to go sub-47 in the 400mH! ⏱️https://t.co/FHETOEDeFI
— FloTrack (@FloTrack) June 30, 2018
It was the 22-year-old Samba’s fifth victory in five races, his bright yellow socks making him a striking figure on the track.