US official backs Semenya
A PROMINENT board member of the US athletics team has lashed out at British marathon runner Paula Radcliffe following her criticism of South African 800m star Caster Semenya.
Adrian Crichlow, a board member of the American team, has dismissed Radcliffe’s comments as “uneducated”, saying he was “bemused” Radcliffe had questioned Semenya’s expected dominance in the 800m at the Rio Olympics.
He has said Semenya would make an inspiring speaker in New York.
Semenya is the overwhelming favourite to pick up gold, but Radcliffe said the 25-yearold’s gender controversy would cast a shadow over any victory.
In an interview with BBC radio, Radcliffe said the expectation was there would be no other result than a Semenya victory.
“Then it’s no longer sport and it’s no longer an open race. Obviously there is an issue, and there is an issue that needs to be understood a lot better.”.
Crichlow said the British athlete had no right to criticise Semenya. “I don’t think Paula Radcliffe is fully educated on Caster Semenya’s situation as she states,” said Crichlow. ”
Radcliffe is not the only athlete to have criticised Semenya.
A number of her rivals have begun to fan the flames of controversy over the South African athlete’s sex.
“Other athletes of the sport uneducated on Caster’s situation are just expressing ignorant comments, not knowing the gravity of its effects on someone who shares the same passion for a sport as they do,” said Crichlow.
Crichlow deals with athletes from youths all the way up to professionals and has come out in full support of Semenya ahead of the Games.
“Caster is displaying a great deal of strength, courage and perseverance throughout her ordeals,” said Crichlow.
“Her victory will prove that’s the reward for exercising these traits to others like herself, and a general message overall.”
Although other athletes have “bullied” her, Crichlow believes Semenya will shine in Rio.
“Seeing Caster’s progress through the 2016 season, she seems to be in a better place.
“I believe she’s in a better place because of a stronger support system.
“I think Caster knows and feels that now.
“The bullying may still exist, but Caster’s fortress of love and support shouldn’t allow any negativity to shy away from her mission.”
Semenya won the 2009 world championshp 800m title and was second in the London Olympics in 2012.