Caster Semenya breaks 600 m world best at ISTAF

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Aug 28, 2017
  • Caster Semenya on her way to breaking the 600 m world best at ISTAF.(Photo:ISTAF)

Caster Semenya crowned the 76th edition of the ISTAF in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium with a world best in the 600m.

The South African ran 1:21.77, improving the former 20 year-old mark from Cuba’s Ana Fidelia Quirot by almost one second.

A meeting record was established by Kenya’s Norah Tanui who took the 3,000 m Steeplechase in 9:03.70. Second-placed Gesa Krause ran a German record with 9:11.85.

Another highlight was the men’s Javelin. Germany’s World Champion Johannes Vetter won with 89.85 m an IAAF World Challenge Series.

Germany’s most spectacular athletics meeting had seen 18 world records or world bests in its long history. On Sunday spectators witnessed number 19 in the 600 m.

The Olympic and World Champion delivered a thrilling run. Guided by pacemaker Ilona Usovich of Belarus until almost 400 m she then stormed away and held on to clock 1:21.77, smashing her PB of 1:25.56 in fine weather conditions.

It was back in 1997 when Cuba’s Ana Fidelia Quirot ran 1:22.63.

Since the 600 m are a non-standard event the IAAF does not ratify world records. Second placed Ajee Wilson of the US ran a North American area record with 1:22.39 while Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi took third in 1:23.18.

"I won my first world title her in Berlin, so this city is special for me. I wanted to deliver to this amazing people,“ said Caster Semenya.

"The 600 is a bit easier compared to the 800. I love speed, so I liked it.“

A very fast race developed in the 3,000 m Steeplechase. Kenya’s pacemaker Caroline Tuigong guided the field through the 1,000 m mark in 3:02.56 and then dropped out.

The pace remained high with a 6:07.88 split time for 2k.

America’s World Championships silver medallist Courtney Frerichs was in the lead at this point, but she did not finish. It was then Norah Tanui who stormed away, winning in 9:03.70.

She smashed the former meeting record which stood at 9:21.64. Gesa Krause, who was unlucky in London when she was tripped and fell in the final, ran a great race late in the season, improving her national record from 9:15.70 to 9:11.85.