Caster Semenya Wins 800m Race After Losing Appeal Against New Rules
On Wednesday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne dismissed Caster Semenya’s appeal against International IAAF’s rules over testosterone levels in female athletes. Two days after she lost appeal, the South African runner on Friday won her last 800m race. The victory came before new testosterone-limiting rules come into effect for women’s middle-distance track events.
Semenya, the 800m Olympic title winner in 2012 and 2016, clocked a meet-record time of 1:54.98 on Friday at the IAAF Diamond League event in Doha, Qatar. She defeated her nearest competitor, the Olympic silver medallist Francine Niyonsaba, by nearly 3 seconds. It was her fourth-fastest time ever. Ajee Wilson of the United States was third.
Caster Semenya said “no human can stop me from running” after winning the 800m at the Doha Diamond League meet, BBC reported
It was Semenya’s first 800m race this year and first since losing her case against the IAAF this week. “Actions speak louder than words,” Semenya told the BBC. “When you are a great champion, you always deliver.”
The race comes two days after the Double Olympic champion lost the appeal against IAAF’s rules. She was fighting IAAF’s imposed “hyperandrogenic” rules — the regulations for athletes with ‘differences of sexual development’ (DSD) who want to compete in the female category. Now the new rules make it compulsory for female athletes with high level of testosterone to take suppressant if they wish to compete with the other women participants in international sporting events such as Olympics.
Semenya won her 30th successive race over the distance in one minute 54.98 seconds.
Semenya on Thursday cryptically posted an image with the following words: “Knowing when to walk away is wisdom. Being able to is courage. Walking away with your head held high is dignity.”
Under the new rules which will go into effect on May 8, female athletes with high natural levels of testosterone must take suppressant or be medically limited if they wish to compete in events from 400 metres.
On Friday, when asked, whether she will now submit to new testosterone regulations in track and field and take hormone-reducing medication, her reply was epic.
“Hell no,” the Olympic champion from South Africa said, Time reported.
Also, about taking the medication, she told reporters, “That’s an illegal method.”
Talking further about her career next, she said, “With a situation like this you can never tell the future but the only thing you know is that you will be running,” she said.
“God has decided my career, God will end my career. No man, or any other human, can stop me from running. How am I going to retire when I’m 28? I still feel young, energetic. I still have 10 years or more in athletics,” Semenya added.
“It doesn’t matter how I’m going to do it. What matters is I’ll still be here. I am never going anywhere,” she claimed adding that she wouldn’t move up to the 5,000 meters and is definitely not retiring.
Feature Picture Credit: BBC