Caster Semenya breezed through the 800m semifinals at the Rio Olympics on Thursday night and then said she planned to “go with the flow” in Saturday’s final.
Semenya, fifth into the back straight and third into the final bend, accelerated into the lead on the home straight to win her semifinal in 1min 58.15sec.
That was the fastest time of the three semifinals.
“It was okay, the main thing was just to get through,” Semenya said in a brief one-on-one interview with one of the organisers that was later distributed to the media.
Once again she walked through the mixed zone without stopping to talk to journalists.
Asked what her tactic would be for the final, Semenya replied: “There are no strategies, I’ll just go with the flow, see how I feel in the race.
“The pace was a little bit quicker [in the semifinal], I wasn’t expecting that much pace,” said Semenya, who got the silver medal at the 2012 Olympics behind Russian Mariya Savinova, who has since been implicated in a doping scandal.
Asked how close she could get to Jarmilla Kratochvilova’s 1:53.28 world record, Semenya pointed out she had only achieved her personal best, a 1:55.33, only last month.
“I just ran my PB a month ago. The focus is just the championship, go back home with the gold medal …
“I’m quite happy with my performance now so I’m just looking forward to the final.
“I just have to go back and check my videos … see how I’m lengthening my strides to I can run a better race in the final.”
Asked if she had been treated well, Semenya responded: “I’m not focused on people, I’m focused on my race.”