Caster Semenya smashed Zola Budd's long-standing South African 1,500 metres record at the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday as her dominance on the track continued to be dogged by controversy off it.
Semenya, who has elevated levels of male sex hormones, made her move on the last lap, overtaking Kenya's Beatrice Chepkoech on the final bend and accelerating away to win in 4min 0.71sec.
The 27-year-old's victory by more than two seconds sliced 1.1sec off Budd's 1984 South African record and earned Semenya her first Commonwealth medal, to go with her swathe of Olympic and world titles over 800m.
It was a victorious moment for Semenya, who called for assistance for an exhausted rival lying on the track before setting off for a lap of honour wrapped in the national flag.
Meanwhile, twenty-one-year old Sri Lankan sprinter Rumeshika Kumari Ratnayake did impressively well to be placed 2nd in the Women’s 200metres second heat and qualify for the event’s semi-finals.
It was a surprise sprint by the little Lankan lady, as most of the critics expected Hafsatu Kamara of Sierra Leone to make it to the semi-final tomorrow. Yet, Kumari running down the flank, surprised six other competitors on the track on Tuesday.
Ratnayake running lane number eight finished the distance in 23.43 seconds, while Dina Asher-Smith who won the heat had a timing of 23.28seconds.
The other two competitors to stay in contention in particular event were Maddie Coats who finished with a timing of 23.51 and Anthonique Strachan of the Bahamas who finished the distance in 23.52.
In the event’s heat one Canada’s Crystal Emmanuel finished with a time of 22.72, Shashalee of Jamaica 22.88, Semoy Hacket of Trinidad and Tobago 23.37 and Praise Idamadudu 23.55 qualified.
In heat 3; Bahama’s Shaunae Miller-Uibo 22.95, Janet Amponsah of Ghana 23.66, Australia’s Riley Day 23.71 and Amy Foster of Northern Ireland 23.94 qualified.
In the fourth heat Elaina Thomson 23.09 of Jamaica ran in first,while England’s Finette Agyapong 23.15 ran in second. Gambia’s Gina Bass took the third position in 23.24 while the last to qualify was Kai Selvon of Trinidad and Tobago who returned with a time of 23.33.
However tomorrow Ratynayake would have a tough task making it into the final on Thursday as there were at least three contestants who finished the distance within 22 + seconds.
Elsewhere, Botswana's Isaac Makwala did press-ups on the track after winning the 400m in 44.35sec, Grenada's Lindon Victor won the decathlon and New Zealand's Julia Ratcliffe shed tears of joy after she hurled 69.94m to take hammer gold.
Jamaican debutant Ronald Levy outstripped former Olympic bronze-medallist Hansle Parchment to win the 110m hurdles in 13.19, while Kimberly Williams and Shanieka Ricketts formed another Jamaican one-two in the triple jump.
In the pool, Australia rounded off a golden meet with a haul of six victories, while Taylor Ruck, 17, finished with a record-equalling eight medals when she anchored Canada to silver in the women's 4x100m medley relay.
The oldest competitor in the Games' history, as well as a girl thought to be the youngest, both drew attention as they took part in shooting and table tennis respectively.
Bob Pitcairn, a 79-year-old former pilot who once foiled the hijacking of a passenger plane, came a respectable eighth of 16 in the Queen's Prize Pairs finals fullbore shooting.
Just as impressively, 11-year-old Anna Hursey completed her stunning table tennis debut when she bowed out of the women's singles against Malaysia's Alice Chang Li Sian.
"Nothing phases her," said Hursey's coach Stephen Jenkins, praising the Cardiff schoolgirl's unflappable nature.
English diving star Tom Daley suffered a setback when he withdrew from the individual 10 metres platform, citing a hip problem following surgery last year.
Daley, the 2010 and 2014 individual winner, who suffered concussion in the build-up to the Games, will still dive in the synchronised platform with his partner Dan Goodfellow.
Australia's Cameron Meyer won cycling's men's time trial ahead of England's Harry Tanfield and Hamish Bond of New Zealand -- a double Olympic rowing gold medallist.
Katrin Garfoot won the women's time trial and bronze went to England's Hayley Simmonds, who took up cycling to get in shape and has now ended up with a Commonwealth medal.
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