Semenya targets three international events

CASTER Semenya, the golden girl of South African athletics, has quietly bounced back to prepare for the 2010 track and field season after being in limbo for almost four months.

CASTER Semenya, the golden girl of South African athletics, has quietly bounced back to prepare for the 2010 track and field season after being in limbo for almost four months.

This was after her gender was questioned in the wake of her spectacular victory in the 800m event at the World Championships in Berlin, Germany. Semenya has set her sights on three international competitions, and the Limpopo-born athlete is confident she will continue from where she left off in August.

The three events are the African Senior Championships in Kenya in April, the Junior World Championships in Canada in July and the Commonwealth Games in India in October.

Semenya has been hard at training during the festive season holidays, getting herself in shape to tackle the 2010 South African track and field season, which starts next month.

She attended an intensive training camp from December 1 to 31 with 41 other athletes, supervised by her decorated coach, Michael "Sponge" Seme.

"Caster is aiming high, she wants to continue from where she left off in Germany," Seme said.

Semenya has kept a low profile after her gender was questioned by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) but the ANC and its Youth League supported her, urging the IAAF to apologise to Semenya for humiliating her.

On Friday, Semenya is going to Bloemfontein where she will conduct clinics and give a motivational talk to young athletes.

Bofelo Balatseng, Sport and Recreation South Africa's communications and marketing representative, said the event will take place at the Mangaung Indoor Sports Centre.

"We are going to Free State where local athletes, coaches and administrators will be honoured at a hotel in Bloemfontein.

"Caster is coming along with us as well as the other two medallists from the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi and Khotso Mokoena.

"Later in the day, we will go to the Mangaung Indoor Sport Centre where Caster will conduct coaching clinics. We know that there is talent in abundance in Bloemfontein," Balatseng said.

"Caster will also do a motivational talk. We all know that she has become a great international athlete since winning a gold medal in the 800m in Berlin."

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