Semenya goes for gold, no question
IT’S SHAPING up to be another remarkable week in the illustrious sporting career of our own Caster Semenya. On Monday night, Semenya produced a storming finish in the women’s 1 500m at the IAAF World Athletics championship to win the bronze medal, only to once again face fresh questions about her medical condition.
When asked whether she would comply if the IAAF ruled that she once again take medication to lower her testosterone levels, Semenya said: “I’ve no time for nonsense. Medication or no medication. For me, it’s their own decisions. I really don’t have time for nonsense. I don’t focus on the IAAF. It’s not my business. My business is to train hard and see what I come up with in competition.”
That was a strong, but mature response. The fact is that, until any further rulings (and/or of course any possible appeals against rulings), Semenya should be allowed to run without this constant dark cloud hanging over her head.
It was clear on Monday night that the 1 500m is not Semenya’s favourite event. It was a tactical race and she stayed in the bunch far too long. By the time she produced her famous “kick” at the end, she had too much ground to catch up.
Not that she wasn’t thrilled with her bronze medal, as she should be.
But on Sunday night, bronze will almost certainly turn to gold. She is the overwhelming favourite to win the 800m race, like she did at the Rio Olympics last year, and once again bring joy to all South African hearts.
We look forward to seeing Semenya draped in the national flag. If she doesn’t win a medal, then fine.
But if she does win, we hope that Semenya, the world champion, will be allowed to celebrate under the London stars without nagging questions and insinuations.