Caster Semenya breaks 25-year-old 800m record

Andy Astfalck/Getty Images

South African track star Caster Semenya saved the best for last as she broke the 800m African Championships record on the final day of the 21st African Athletics Championships in Asaba, Nigeria.

The 27-year-old crossed the line in 1:56.06, 0.3 seconds faster than her idol, Mozambican Maria Mutola, managed at the 1993 event in Durban.

It was Semenya's second record at the Championships, having broken the South African 400m record on Friday.

Semenya said it was a challenge combining the 400m and 800m, but one that ultimately paid off.

"It's not easy combining these events," she told the media after the race. "I knew I was fast, so I thought let me take advantage and run the 400m and 800m.

"It paid off, so the coach [Samuel Sepeng] is happy and we just have to go back to the drawing board and see what we do next."

Semenya's 800m time is still well short of the world record (1:53.28) set in 1983 by Czechoslovakia's Jarmila Kratochvílová - currently the longest-standing individual world record in athletics.