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South African athlete Semenya eyeing to qualify for 2012 London Olympics

April 16, 2012 - Port Elizabeth

South African athlete and former world champion Caster Semenya has said it is only a matter of time before she qualifies for the London Olympic Games, after missing the mark at the South Africa Senior Championships in Port Elizabeth.

She missed the qualifying time of one minute, 59.90 seconds (1:59.90) in the women's two-lap race, though she retained her national title in a time of 2:02.68.

"It was OK for me. I retained my title, but the race was a bit disappointing because we were hoping for a qualifier, but unfortunately I didn't make it, but the time will come. I just need to be patient," Sports 24 quoted Semenya, as saying.

"The target was below two minutes, sometimes the body if it cannot go, you cannot force it, you just have to maintain the pace. Hopefully 2:02 is not that bad. Maybe, next week we can break those three seconds down. It is possible," she added.

Semenya said she still had two South African races left which she would target for qualification.

"I think I am left with two (South African races) but hopefully I will do it. Maybe next week I'll try to push harder so that I can qualify.I don't feel pressure, I just have to do my thing, I train hard, I know what I am capable of so I don't need to stress. I know I can do it, I just need to be patient," she added.

Semanya needs to dip below the qualifying mark once more before the June 30 deadline, to book a place for the Games and will face a tough field at the Games with reigning Olympic champion Pamela Jelimo of Kenya also making a strong comeback in the two-lap race.


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