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Fri Apr 18 00:17:24 SAST 2014

Caster has 'no place for silver'

RAMATSIYI MOHOLOA | 20 March, 2013 07:300 Comments
Caster Semenya
Image by: MIKE HEWITT / GETTY IMAGES

CASTER Semenya is on a mission to reclaim her dominance of the world 800m title ahead of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Semenya has started with early preparations for the World Championships in Russia in August.

She won gold in her first appearance at the World Championships in Germany in 2009, and came back from the 2011 World Championships in Daegu with silver.

Coached by the legendary Maria Mutola, the 22-year-old Semenya went on to claim another silver at the 2012 London Olympics.

"I have been working hard here in Tshwane trying to lay a solid foundation for the year," said Semenya.

"Everything is going according to plan. It will just be serious training between now and the end of April, when I will be off to Europe for big competitions.

"I have decided to go to Europe because of financial constraints in athletics in general - track and field included. My business manager [Jukka Harkonen] is busy negotiating for me to compete in Europe leading up to the World Championships.

"We will confirm the events I will be competing in once the deals have been signed.

"For me, the bigger picture this year is to win the World Championships and successfully defend [a gold] in 2015 as part of the preparations for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

"It forms part of my four-year plan leading up to the Olympics where I want gold.

"I have no space at home for more silver medals. It has been a great 2013 for me.

"I'm also happy my favourite soccer club Kaizer Chiefs is doing well this time round.

"We are well on track to win the league for the first time in eight years. The good thing is that Chiefs will end the season with a double celebration by clinching the league and Nedbank Cup," said Semenya, who played football in Limpopo before shifting her focus to the track.

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