Semenya lives upto her word

South African powers to record win in 1500M

Semenya lives upto her word

South African flag-bearer Caster Semenya powered to the 1,500 metres title at the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday, keeping her bid for a golden double at the Gold Coast intact.

The 800m Olympic and World champion bided her time before burning away from the modest field to post a Games record time of four minutes and 0.72 seconds on a soggy track at Carrara Stadium.

Semenya, who will run for gold in the 800m, left Kenya's silver medallist Beatrice Chepkoech (4:03:09) in her wake, with Wales' Melissa Courtney taking the bronze.

Before arriving in Australia, Semenya promised to lead South Africa by example. She now hopes her commanding win will inspire her team-mates.

"Basically I'm more like a captain so I need to show the guys that I'm a woman of my words," the 27-year-old told reporters after an evening session punctured by rain showers.

"If I say I will do something I will do it. Also it's just to motivate them so they can believe in themselves.

"With 10 years of experience for me now I think I'm ready for anything."

Semenya's gold continued a proud Games for South Africa on the track, following Akani Simbine's 100m gold when he upstaged Jamaica's favourite Yohan Blake on Monday.

Blake's stumbling effort for a disappointing bronze put a dampener on the Jamaican team on Monday, but the athletics powerhouse hit back with golds in the 110 metres hurdles and the triple jump.

Ronald Levy led a Jamaican one-two in the hurdles ahead of former world silver medallist Hansle Parchment, with local runner Nicholas Hough claiming bronze.

Jamaica's Kimberly Williams also led a one-two for the nation in the triple jump, leaping 14.64 metres on her final effort to pip her team-mate Shanieka Ricketts by 12cm. Thea Lafond took the bronze for Dominica.

Olympic champion Elaine Thompson won her heat to qualify fifth fastest for the 200 metres semifinals. Her team-mate Rasheed Dwyer, the defending champion, was also safely through to the men's semis.

Grenada's aptly-named Lindon Victor took gold in the decathlon with a total 8,303 points, capitalising on defending champion Damian Warner's calamitous setback during the pole vault.

Canadian Warner, the Rio Olympic bronze medallist, held the lead before the vault but crashed out of medal contention after he failed to clear a height.

Canada's Pierce Lepage (8,171) took the silver, with Australia's Cedric Dubler clinching bronze.

Anas misses medal

Muhammad Anas broke the national record for a third time but missed out on a 400M men's medal while Hima Das qualified for the women's final in the same event with a personal best on a bitter-sweet day for Indian track and field athletes.

"I am proud of myself," declared a panting Anas after clocking a personal best of 45.31sec to finish fourth in the race, improving his personal best by 0.01 second.

It was first time that an Indian was competing in the 400M final at the Games since the legendary Milkha Singh in 1958.

However, Anas' effort was not enough for a medal, falling short by just 0.2 seconds, finishing behind winner Isaac Makwala (44.35), Baboloki Thebe (45.09) and Javon Francis (45.11).

"The rain affected my rhythm because the track became heavy and took more effort out of me. The track was spongy. It's hard on the hamstring. It was cold as well which makes the body stiff," Anas said.

"But I have the confidence that I can do much better at this level. My body tightened up a bit today. I expected to come third but it's alright I am glad about what I managed. I will now prepare for the Asian Games," he added.

In the women's 400M, the 18-year-old Hima qualified for the final with a personal best of 51.53.

She had finished third in her semifinal, taking off 0.44 off her previous personal best, but eventually made the cut as the seventh fastest among eight finalists.

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