Semenya claims third world 800m title

Caster Semenya won gold at the IAAF World Championships in London. Photo: AFP / Jewel Samad

LONDON - Caster Semenya won a third world title in the women's 800m on Sunday.

Semenya, the defending Olympic champion and also world champion in 2009 and 2011, timed 1min 55.16sec, the fastest time of the year so far.

Burundi's Francine Niyonsaba, the Olympic silver medallist and world indoor champion, finished second in 1:55.92, with American Ajee Wilson taking bronze (1:56.65).

"I just love you guys!" Semenya said in an address to the sell-out 60,000 seater London Stadium crowd.

"It feels like home in London. I used to say Berlin was like my home. Obviously it is South Africa, but there are such fantastic people here. Beautiful."

READ: 'Condolences to the haters', twitter reacts to Semenya's golden win

Semenya added: "I'm lucky to have a great support team who work with me. Full credit to them. Another world title is a fantastic honour for me and I love to do it here in London.

"The crowd are so welcoming to me and it makes it feel even more special."

Semenya hinted that it would now be time to tackle the world record of 1:53.28 set by Jarmila Kratochvilova back in 1983.

"We need to clear 1:55 first and it will require a lot of hard training," she said.

"I have Olympic, world and Commonwealth titles now so maybe it is time to target the world record. It's the next thing on the list. I know it will be difficult but I will have to attempt soon, maybe."


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