Semenya silences doubters
CONTROVERSIAL South African runner Caster Semenya produced a devastating sprint finish to claim the Olympic 800m crown, four years after being denied gold by Russian dope cheat Mariya Savinova.
The 25-year-old 2012 silver medallist turned on the gas with 150m to go, crossing the line more than 1.20sec clear in 1min 55.28sec at the Olympic Stadium.
Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi took silver in 1:56.49 with Kenya’s Margaret Wambui claiming bronze in 1:56.89.
“I used to be a sprinter. I ran the 100m, 200m in high school,” Semenya said of her finish.
“It was just a fantastic race. Obviously, there can only be one winner and it turned out good for me. It wasn’t about running fast, it was about running a good race.”
Semenya has been at the centre of a raging controversy in recent years because of her naturally occurring condition, hyperandrogenism, which causes elevated testosterone levels.
Rival runners have said they want authorities to revisit rules that limit the amount of testosterone allowed in competitors.
Partially in response to those rumblings, world athletics chiefs implemented restrictions on testosterone levels in 2011.
‘Tonight is all about performances. We’re not here to talk about speculations.’
South African runner
Fans watch the Rio 2016 Olympic Games men’s football gold medal match between Brazil and Germany at the Olympic Boulevard in Rio de Janeiro.