The African Championships in track & field are ongoing in Asaba, Nigeria in a sub-par facility that doesn’t even appear to be completely flat all the way around. No matter, because South Africa’s Caster Semenya made history on Saturday by winning the women’s 400 m in 49.96.
The time isn’t close to the world lead of 48.97 by Shaunae Miller-Uibo (BAH), but a milestone that makes Semenya one of the greatest women runners in history; she is believed to be the first to run:
- 400 m under 50.00;
- 800 m under 2:00.00, and
- 1,500 m under 4:00.00.
Semenya’s outstanding achievement places her in or near the top 100 all-time in three events:
- 400 m: 49.96 =82nd all-time
- 800 m: 1:54.25 4th all-time
- 1,500 m:3:59.92 104th all-time
She came into the meet with a 400 m best of 50.40 from 2016 and has set all three of her personal bests this season. Next on her agenda: a run at Czech Jarmila Kratochvilova’s 800 m world mark of 1:53.28 from 1983.