Diamond League: Abderrahman Samba and Caster Semenya set fast times in Paris

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Qatar's Abderrahman Samba records second-fastest 400m hurdles time

Abderrahman Samba became only the second man in history to run under 47 seconds in the 400m hurdles with victory in the Diamond League in Paris.

Samba, 22, who represents Qatar, won in 46.98. Only American Kevin Young has run faster, with 46.78 in 1992.

"The world record is getting closer," Samba said. "I improved technique since last year and, who knows, maybe I can be a second faster next year."

Also in Paris, Caster Semenya ran the fourth-fastest women's 800m in history.

'I want to be an inspiration' - Semenya

The South African athlete won in 1:54.25, the fastest time in the world this year.

The 27-year-old has challenged an IAAF ruling stating female athletes with naturally high testosterone levels will have to race against men or change events from 1 November, unless they take medication.

"I was thinking 1:54.99 may be possible but this is great," said Semenya. "I am just a human and if you want to be an inspiration to the world and to the youth, you cannot focus on negative things."

The 2012 and 2016 Olympic champion remains unbeaten over 800m since the World Championships in 2015.

Her time is still over a second behind Czech athlete Jarmila Kratochvilova's mark of 1:53.28, which was set in 1983 and remains the longest-standing individual world record in athletics.

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