Semenya Scores Another Victory

Reigning world champion wins easily again in Finland.

Caster Semenya, the 19-year-old South African who returned to competition earlier this week after an 11-month debate regarding her gender finally ended, won her second straight 800-meter race with a 2:02.41 triumph at the Savo Games in Finland on Sunday.

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“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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