Semenya makes winning return after injury layoff

Potchefstroom: World 800 metres champion Caster Semenya made a successful return to competitive athletics on Saturday when she won her first race after a long injury layoff.

The 20-year-old, who underwent gender verification tests that put her career on hold for almost a year after winning gold at the world championships in August 2009, was competing in the 800m at a top-flight South African domestic series meet.

The South African`s last competitive outing was in September last year, before she was forced to pull out of the Commonwealth Games in October with a back injury.

"It`s a good start to the year," Semenya, who led from the start to clock a time of 2 minutes 04.12 seconds, well off her personal best of 1:55.45, told reporters.

"I haven`t raced in South Africa in a long time and today shows that my preparations are on track for the world championships (in Daegu, South Korea in August)."

Bureau Report