Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane on Tuessday reassured the public that student l.
WORLD 800m champion Caster Semenya will start as the favourite to win against a weak field at a low-key meeting in Finland tomorrow.
It will be the 19-year-old's first race since winning gold at the International Association of Athletics Federations World Championship in Berlin, Germany, last August.
Semenya was given the green light by the IAAF to run against women last week. It has been widely speculated that Semenya underwent medical treatment last year, and there are questions over whether or not she will be able to reach the heights she climbed in the past.
Semenya has been training hard but her coach Michael Seme has admitted she is "unfit".
Seme, however, remains confident she will be able to produce fast times again, once she has a few races under her belt.
The day after the IAAF announced she had been cleared, Athletics South Africa requested a fitness test, and after Semenya clocked poor times of 1:35 and 1:38 she was omitted from the team named on Sunday for the African Athletics Championships at the end of July.
Instead, she will focus on preparing for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, in October.
And while Semenya hasn't raced in 11 months, and will be in the starting blocks as a dark horse, she won't need to be in top form to topple a mediocre field at the Lappeenranta Games.
The teenager is the 13th fastest woman in history, having won the world title in 1:55.45 last year, and the rest of the field should struggle if the South African is anywhere near her best. None of the other 17 women included in the entry lists (the race is likely to be split into A and B divisions) have broken the two-minute barrier in their careers.
Olga Yekimenko of the Ukraine is the fastest in the field this year, having clocked 2:03.33 in Prague last month, almost eight seconds slower than Semenya's personal best.
Two other South Africans will also be in action at the event, one of them being long jump sensation Luvo Manyonga.
National champion Cornel Fredericks will compete in the men's 400m hurdles. - Sapa