“The race was pretty hard, the pace was fast for me,” Semenya told the Associated Press. “It helped me to run a faster time, so I’m quite happy with the performance.”
Semenya finished two seconds ahead of runner-up Sofia Oberg of Sweden, and also took two seconds off the 2:04.22 winning time she posted on Thursday night at another low-key meet in Lapppeenranta, Finland. Despite the quick improvement, however, her coach, Michael Seme, realizes Semenya still has a long way to go before she returns to the level of fitness that carried her to a 1:55.45 gold-medal winning performance at the IAAF World Championships last summer in Berlin.
“The speed is not there. It’s still a long way,” Seme said to the AP after the race. “But it’s going according to my plan.”
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