Semenya sparkles in Rabat


Caster Semenya set the fastest time in the world this year to win the 800 metres at Sunday's historic Diamond League meeting in Rabat.

The South African won over two laps in the opening meeting of the Diamond League season in Doha and laid down another marker in Olympic year just over a fortnight later.

Semenya, who underwent gender-testing after winning gold at the World Championship seven years ago, won in one minute 56.64 seconds at the first Diamond League meeting to be staged in Africa.

The 25-year-old kicked for home to cross the line just 0.05 outside the Diamond League record set by Francine Niyonsaba back in 2012.

Niyonsaba finished second after she was passed by Semenya 50 metres from home, with France's Renelle Lamote third in a personal-best time of 1:58.84.

LaShawn Merritt bolted down the home straight to win the men's 400m in a meeting-record time of 44.66.

Almaz Ayana was an impressive winner of the women's 5000m and looked on course to break Tirunesh Dibaba's world record before having to settle for a world-leading time of 14:16.31.

Janieve Russell recorded a new personal best of 54.16 to win the women's race over 400m ahead of fellow-Jamaican Elaine Thompson.

Frenchman Pierre-Ambroise Bosse produced a blistering late turn of speed to win the men's 800m in 1:44.51, with Olympic 1500m champion Taoufik Makhloufi having to settle for second and Bosnian Amel Tuka third.

Alonso Edward won the men's 200m, while Rushwal Samaai equalled his personal best and the African all-comers' record of 8.38m to win the men's long jump and Valerie Adams of New Zealand claimed victory in the women's shot put.