‘No time for non­sense’ GLANCE

Se­menya fires back af­ter bronze medal in 1,500

Ottawa Sun - - SPORTS - PAT GRA­HAM — Sun wire ser­vices

LON­DON — As al­ways, Caster Se­menya is fo­cused on rac­ing, not reg­u­la­tions.

And she has some big goals, too. The South African plans to be around for a while, and maybe dom­i­nate the 1,500 me­tres the way she has the 800.

Af­ter fall­ing over the line to earn bronze in the 1,500 on Mon­day at the world cham­pi­onships, Se­menya was flooded with ques­tions about a long-run­ning dis­pute over whether fe­males with ex­ces­sive testos­terone should be al­lowed to com­pete.

In 2011, the IAAF in­sti­tuted re­stric­tions on ath­letes with hy­per­an­dro­genism, but a rul­ing by the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport over­turned that. The gov­ern­ing body is ap­peal­ing, with a de­ci­sion pos­si­ble next year.

Asked about it dur­ing the medal­lists’ news con­fer­ence, Se­menya said: “I have no time for non­sense. I’m an ath­lete.”

“For me, it’s their own decisions,” she said. “Like I said be­fore, my fo­cus is more on get­ting healthy and com­pet­ing. I re­ally don’t have time for non­sense.”

In the race, Se­menya moved from fifth to third over the fi­nal 100 me­tres thanks to her sig­na­ture fin­ish­ing kick — the one that turned her into an Olympic cham­pion Con­tro­ver­sial South African Caster Se­menya (left) fin­ished third in the women’s 1,500 me­tres fi­nal yes­ter­day at the IAAF World Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships. Faith Chep­ngetich Kipye­gon of Kenya won gold and Jen­nifer Simp­son of the United States took sil­ver. in the 800. Up for a new challenge, she’s try­ing her hand at the 1,500 — and is still learn­ing the nu­ances of go­ing four laps in­stead of two. In this one, she al­lowed too big of gap and couldn’t catch win­ner Faith Kipye­gon of Kenya or sil­ver-medal­list Jenny Simp­son of the United States.

“I learn ev­ery day. For me, it’s quite an amaz­ing per­for­mance,” Se­menya said. “Next time, I’ll do bet­ter.” If there is a next time. A re­cent sci­en­tific pa­per found that women who pro­duce higher-than-nor­mal amounts of testos­terone have up to a 4.5 per cent ad­van­tage over their com­pe­ti­tion on the track.

That’s ev­i­dence world track of­fi­cials are us­ing in their ap­peal to CAS, which has the power to re­in­state the IAAF rules and side­line Se­menya, In­dia’s Du­tee Chand (the run­ner who ini­tially ap­pealed the ban) and oth­ers with so­called in­ter­sex con­di­tions.

The study an­a­lyzed more than 2,100 an­dro­gen sam­ples from ath­letes par­tic­i­pat­ing in the 2011 and 2013 world cham­pi­onships.

The rules were over­turned in time for last year’s Olympics, where Se­menya won gold. She is a celebrity back home, and car­ried her coun­try’s flag at the 2012 Olympics in Lon­don.

Af­ter her lat­est tri­umph, she brushed off talk about the rules the IAAF could re-im­ple­ment.

“I plan short-time goals. I don’t think about what will hap­pen in eight months,” Se­menya said. “This is what we do. We fo­cus on be­ing healthy and do­ing what we do best. Those other things are is­sues I don’t fo­cus on. It’s none of my busi­ness. United States2 Kenya 2 Ethiopia 1 South Africa 1 Venezuela 1 Ja­maica 1 Poland 1 Greece 1 Bahrain 1 5 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 2 1 1 1 0 0 2:20 p.m. Women’s javelin fi­nal 2:35 p.m. Men’s pole vault fi­nal 3:35 p.m. Women’s 400 me­tres hur­dles semis 4:10 p.m. Men’s 3,000 me­tres steeple­chase 4:35 p.m. Men’s 800 me­tres fi­nal 4:50 p.m. Men’s 400 me­tres fi­nal 9 5 3 3 2 2 2 1 1 It’s their busi­ness.

“I’m a pos­i­tive per­son and look at things in a pos­i­tive way. As a hu­man, you get to point where you just fo­cus on you.”

An­swer­ing these ques­tions has be­come an un­com­fort­able rou­tine for Se­menya since she burst onto the scene in 2009, dominating the 800-meter race at the worlds and win­ning gold.

“Some­times, you get annoyed or you get bored,” Se­menya said. “I fo­cus more on be­ing healthy and do­ing bet­ter for my­self.

“My busi­ness is to train hard and see what I can come up with in the com­pe­ti­tion.” was not the only one af­fected.

“Ac­cord­ing to IAAF medics I am ap­par­ently suf­fer­ing from food poi­son­ing which has af­fected sev­eral other ath­letes,” Mak­wala wrote. “Let’s hope they will al­low me to run my fi­nal.”

Mak­wala was ex­pected to be the main chal­lenger to Wayde van Niek­erek in both the 200 and the 400.


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