Three times world champion, two times Olympic champion and one back-to-back gold medal win at the Commonwealth Games (CWG) – Caster Semenya is golden!
South Africa's winged-heeled heroine and national treasure made history on Friday, day nine of the Commonwealth Games in Australia, when she broke two records in one race.
Not only did Semenya win gold in the Women's 800m in a time of 1:56.68 – a Commonwealth Games record – but her 800m win (a distance that she has dominated for several years) also makes her the first female athlete to win back-to-back golds in both the 1,500m and 800m.
Breaking the CWG record in the 800m final, Semenya left Margaret Wambui and Natoya Goule in her dust. This latest in a string of 800m wins cements her status in the upper echelons of international track stars.
The moment of magic could not have been summed up more perfectly by the Gold Coast commentator when he said, "No one can deny the class that is Caster Semenya" – the South African clearly outstripped the competition on her way to the finish line.
Her second gold medal of these games was doubly welcome, as it came after she broke her Commonwealth duck – her gold on day six in the 1,500m was her first win at the CWG. Perhaps the 800m victory was a more expected result, but no one could have predicted how emphatically she would make her mark on the 1,500m, too.
The team flagbearer absolutely stormed the final stretch, breaking a national record and winning the first 1,500m Commonwealth Games medal of her career – at the same time breaking a 1984 SA 1,500m national record set by Zola Budd.
She said this after her win"
"I want everyone to know that South African athletes are here to stay. I'm proud to be a South African. We are a great nation and we want to display that to the world."
Team SA now has a total 13 gold medals, with the overall medal tally sitting at 35 medals.
Halala to SA's golden star!