South Africa’s Caster Semenya ran the fastest time in the semifinals of the women’s 800m, winning her heat in 1:57.67 seconds. Semenya, you may remember, won gold at the world championships in 2009, which led to in-depth gender testing before she was cleared for competition again in July 2010.
Semenya’s heat was the fastest and most competitive of the three, with both time qualifiers coming from that race including American Alysia Johnson Montano, who finished fourth but qualified with a time of 1:58.42 seconds.
2011 world champion Mariya Savinova of Russia won her heat in a time of 1:58.57 and 2008 gold medalist, Kenya’s Pamela Jelimo, won her heat in 1:59.42 ensuring all the favorites will be present in the finals on Saturday. Americans Alice Schmidt and Geena Gall both failed to qualify for the finals.