South African runner Caster Semenya ran the fastest 800m ever run on American soil at Sunday’s Prefontaine Classic in Stanford, California, on Sunday. It was her 31st straight victory over the distance in a time of 1:55.7. Semenya was almost four seconds ahead of Americans Ajee Wilson and Raevyn Rogers, who crossed the line in season’s best times of 1:58.36 and 1:58.65.
Semenya continues to race well despite the controversy surrounding the IAAF’s efforts to prevent her from racing without taking medication to lower her naturally-high testosterone, something she has consistently said she will not do. The Swiss Federal Tribunal ruled that she must be allowed to race while it is considering her appeal of the IAAF’s testosterone rule, upheld in a May 1 ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
In other results, Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands won the women’s 3,000m in a new European record of 8:18.49, in a race that also featured Konstanze Klosterhalfen (who finished second with a new PB of 8:20.07), Genzebe Dibaba (fourth, with a new PB of 8:21.29) and World Cross Country champion Hellen Obiri (who finished sixth).
Also on Sunday, Canada’s Mo Ahmed set a new personal best of 8:15.76 in the 2-mile event, good enough for fourth place. Justyn Knight finished ninth, in 8:19.75. The race was won by World Cross Country champion Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda in a world-leading time of 8:07.54. Ahmed broke his own Canadian 5,000m record at the Oslo Diamond League last month.
In the women’s 1,500m, Canada’s Gabriela Debues-Stafford, who has had an incredible 2019 to this point, setting three new Canadian records, ran 4:02.06 for sixth place in a race in which the top three finishers Faith Kipyegon of Kenya, Laura Muir of the UK and Shelby Houlihan of the US all ran sub-4. (Canada’s Melissa Bishop did not pace as planned.) Though disappointed, Debues-Stafford reminded herself that her time was still 1.5 seconds faster than her PB over the distance six months ago.
And Norway’s Filip and Jakob Ingebrigtsen went three and four in the Bowerman Mile, which was won by Kenya’s Timothy Cheruiyot in a world-leading 3:50.49. The brothers both set new personal bests in the distance (3:51.28 and 3:51.30).