Olympic gold medallists Caster Semenya and Wayde van Niekerk raced to respective treble and double title sweeps at the SA Universities Track and Field Championships in Cape Town.

Sinking his teeth into the 200-400m double, Van Niekerk won his specialist 400m on Friday before successfully defending his half-lap title.

No stranger to taking on the treble, Semenya completed the sweep for the second consecutive year.

She did the bulk of her work on Friday when she won the 1500m in a time of 4:16.87.

She was followed by Annuscha Nice in 4:18.41 with Kesa Molotsane rounding off the podium in a time of 4:19.92.

Semenya, pictured, backed into the starting blocks in the 400m an hour later where she raced to victory in a time of 51.84 seconds ahead of World University Games champion Justine Palframan with 52.41secs. Arian Nel finished third in 54.05secs.

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In the 800m, the Olympic gold medallist posted a season’s best of 2:00.99 with Nice winning her second silver of the championships in a time 2:05.48 ahead of Thatho Makhafola in third with 2:10.61.

Winning both titles should be a good morale booster just months after Van Niekerk announced he would attempt the 200-400m double at the IAAF World Championships in London in August.

Racing in the 400m for only the second time this season, the world record-holder crossed the line in a modest time of 46.28 seconds.

National champion Pieter Conradie followed closely behind him in second place, posting a time of 46.33secs with Nene Zakithi clinching third place in 46.88secs.

Van Niekerk successfully defended his 200m title a week after he won the half-lap sprint gold at the South African championships in Potchefstroom where he clocked a world lead of 19.90secs.

The blustery Cape Town conditions from earlier in the day dissipated in the afternoon when Van Niekerk lined up in the 200m final.

The Olympic gold medallist finished well ahead of his nearest rival, posting a time of 20.10secs with Hendrik Maartens finishing second in 20.63secs with Yusuf Ismail bagging the bronze in 21.25secs.

South African 100m hurdles champion Rikenette Steenkamp once again proved to be a consistent performer getting close to dipping below 13 seconds winning in a time of 13.09secs.

Maryke Brits finished in second place in 13.60secs with national junior record-holder Taylon Bieldt crossing the line in 13.82secs.

Rantso Mokopane won both the men’s 1500m and 3000m steeplechase titles which were scheduled half-an-hour apart.

Commonwealth Games long jump bronze medallist Ruswahl Samaai continues to show good consistent form leaping to victory with a best attempt of 8.35m.

Samaai finished behind national record-holder Luvo Manyonga at last week’s South African Championships with a new personal best of 8.49m.

Weekend Argus

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