World 800m Champion Caster Semenya is well and truly on the comeback trail.
The Pretoria based athlete stepped down in distance at the third and final leg of the Yellow Pages Invitation Series in Bellville, Cape Town last night, to test her speed over the 400m distance and took the line honours in 54,03 seconds.
Semenya held second position for much of the race, but powered through to edge out Namibian Tjipekaporo Herunga by 0.37 seconds with local athlete Alet van Wyk a distant third in 55.11 seconds.
In theory Semenya, who was running the one lap distance for the first time as a senior ran the equivalent of a 1:57 for the 800m distance which is surprisingly close to the one minute 55.45 seconds that she ran to secure the gold medal in Berlin in 2009.
Even more amazing is that this has come so early in the season given that the 20 year old has been struggling for so many months with a back injury which commenced shortly after she had been given the go-ahead to return to competition by the IAAF last year. The injury caused her to miss the Commonwealth Games where she was expected to take the gold medal. This performance gives Semenya a solid rung on the ladder to the defense of her title at the 2011 World Championships in South Korea in August.