Speaking at a press conference in central London today, Caster Semenya said that despite having to start again, after switching coaches at the end of 2011, she felt strong and confident of a win in the London 2012 Olympics.

“This is my first Olympics after having won gold (2009) and silver (2011) at the last two world championships. I’m in good shape, mentally and physically and I’ve got no worries,” she said.

Caster Semenya, 800m medallist prospect. Photo by Wessel Oosthuizen.
Semenya who will carry the South African flag at tonight’s London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, said she is prepared to do her best.

“There are no worries from my side. We’re ready. Put the spikes on and do my best. As an individual I’m strong.”

Also at the press conference were the athletics squad’s manager, former Olympic 800m silver medalist Hezekiel Sepeng, Sascoc chief executive Tubby Reddy, Sascoc first vice-president Hajera Kajee and the team’s chef de mission Patience Shikwambana.

The 21-year-old 800m athlete went on to say that she was not expecting to carry the flag, but having the responsibility meant she would meet the team and do her bit.

When asked about Team South Africa’s chances at the games, Semenya replied confidently, “There has been a lot of talk about 12 medals, but I’m hoping that we can double that!”

Semenya is hoping to break the 800m world record – the longest standing women’s world record, set by Jarmila Kratochvilov in 1983. When asked about her rivals, Semenya replied, “I can only concentrate on my race. The times don’t matter. If I’m strong mentally I’m strong. If you want to beat the best you’ve got to beat everybody.”


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