Caster Semenya cruised to an easy 1:55.33 in the women's 800 meters at the Monaco Diamond League and appears poised to break the world record in Rio.
South Africa's Caster Semenya won the Monaco Diamond League's women's 800 meters in 1:55.33, which is the fastest time in the world since 2008.
Semenya's personal best on Friday is also the fastest time in the world in 2016, a Diamond League record, a meet record and the South African national record. Semenya took silver at the 2012 Olympics in London but is favored to win gold in Rio de Janeiro next month.
Semenya's dominance is not without controversy as she was suspended after her 2009 world championship victory and subjected to gender testing. Last July, the Court of Arbitration for Sport decided to suspend the IAAF ruling that regulated women’s testosterone levels for competition eligibility. Semenya has returned to competition and blown away all of her competitors.
She reportedly plans to double in Rio with the women's 400 meters, where her 50.74 seasonal best ranks 15th in the world.
Watch Semenya's Monaco win below:
The world record for 800 meters is 1:53.28, which was set by Jarmila Kratochvílová of the Czech Republic in 1983. Semenya appears ready to attack the record in Rio as she went out in 54.04 for the first lap on Friday and then cruised in her final 200 meters in 28 seconds.
Behind Semenya, nine other women broke two minutes for the 800. American Molly Ludlow, who finished fourth and missed the Olympic team by less than half of a second, set a personal best of 1:57.68. The time is the fastest by an American in 2016.
- Chris Chavez