CASTER SEMENYA

Athletics Weekly - - The Big Feature -

BIOG

■ Born Jan­uary 7, 1991, Pi­eters­burg, South Africa

■ Achieve­ments 2018: Com­mon­wealth 800m and 1500m golds; 2017: World gold (1500m bronze); 2016: Olympics 800m gold;

2012: Olympics 800m gold; 2011:

World 800m gold; 2009: World 800m gold; 2008: World ju­nior 800m gold

■ PBs (all South African records): 400m 49.62; 800m 1:54.25; 1000m 2:30.70; 1500m 3:59.92 Caster Semenya blasted to vic­tory in Rio two years ago but was also awarded an­other Olympic gold af­ter the dop­ing dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion of Mariya Savi­nova. The South African was sim­i­larly up­graded to gold for her run at the 2011 IAAF World Cham­pi­onships, so in ad­di­tion to her world ti­tles from Ber­lin 2009 and Lon­don 2017 it means she has won three world and two Olympic ti­tles.

Her big break­through came at the 2009 IAAF World Cham­pi­onships. There, in Ber­lin, she won gold in style but then took time out from the sport to un­dergo gen­der test­ing.

Af­ter be­ing cleared to re­turn she has re-es­tab­lished her­self as world No.1 and her ex­ploits in­clude win­ning her na­tional 400m, 800m and 1500m ti­tles in the space of one af­ter­noon.

Her in­cred­i­ble range was demon­strated this year, too, when she clocked 49.62 for 400m to 1500m as she broke Zola Pi­eterse’s South African record with 3:59.92. Such bril­liant form has also led to spec­u­la­tion that she might one day break Jarmila Kra­tochvilova’s long-stand­ing world 800m record of 1:53.28.

She is lauded in her na­tive coun­try as a role model and her wed­ding last year to long-term part­ner,

Vi­o­let Rase­boya, was

widely cel­e­brated. Her coach, Jean Ver­ster, says: “Caster is a fan­tas­tic hu­man be­ing, a down-to-earth per­son and a great ath­lete who is like a mother to some of the girl ath­letes in our group.”

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