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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

Sekgodišo destroys quality field to go sub 2 minutes at Kip Keino Classic in Kenya

For the second time in seven days, South Africa's middle distance queen Prudence Sekgodišo has stopped the clock faster than she ever had before. Building on her first sub 4:10 (4:09.88) 1500m clocking at the Gaborone International Meet in Botswana a week ago, the Limpopo born top runner ran her first sub 2 minute 800m race at the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi yesterday. Taking on a host of top East African stars including World Champion Halimah Nakaayi of Uganda, Sekgodišo won the race by almost a second in 1:58.41 for what was the fastest women's 800m time in the world this year.

"I just ran a world lead, PB also and the competition record! I'm excited," said an elated Sekgodišo moments after her victory in conversation with Athletics South Africa media boss Sifiso Cele who had travelled to Kenya for the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold event. "The plan was to qualify for the World Championships and to run sub 2 minutes so all is sorted now."

Sekgodišo in action at the ASA Senior Track and Field Championships at the Green Point Stadium in Cape Town a fortnight ago where she won the 800m and 1500m double. She has now qualified to represent the country at the World Championships in Oregon in July. Photo Credit: ASA Media.

With the last South African woman to break the 2 minute barrier being Caster Semenya, the Tshwane University of Technology runner's achievement is all the impressive when one considers that she is just 20 years old. And with the guidance of coach Samuel Sepeng who was in Semenya's camp when she was still competing and winning major championship medals in the 800m and 1500m, Sekgodišo will fancy her chances of returning from next month's CAA African Championships in Mauritius with a medal.

"That's part of the plan," she said when asked whether or not she would be going to Mauritius. "There I'm just gonna run because all is done now. I'm looking back at last week running the 1500m which was also a PB, it shows that I'm ready for anything. My dream is to run in the Diamond Leagues," said the reigning SA 1500m and 800m champion.

Ferdinand Omanyala missed out on his own African 100m record by less than a tenth of a second. Photo Credit: ASA Media.

Aside for Sekgodišo's excellent run, there were a hot of other world class performances in the Kenyan capital. Ferdinand Omanyala delighted the home crowd when he beat American Fred Kerley to win the men's 100m in a world lead of 9.85. Abel Kipsang also sent the crowd in the Kasarani Stadium to their feet when he won the men's 1500m in a world lead of 3:31.01, while double Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce underlined her class by winning the women's 100m in a 10.67 world lead as Namibia's Christine Mboma failed to finish the race and left the meet on crutches.

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