South Africa’s Olympic women’s 800m champion Caster Semenya says it is a dream come true to be nominated for the Laureus World Sports Awards to be held in Monaco, on February 27.
“As an athlete, obviously we have goals, we have dreams, but this is one of the dreams that I dreamed, from young, watching sportsmen and sportswomen on top of the world, being nominated, and then say one day, if I can be there, I will be fulfilled.”
Semenya said it was very special to be selected among the best in the world.
“When you check the likes of Michael Johnson, for me, it’s a very special feeling. It’s someone that I looked up to since I’m watching what he has accomplished. It’s just amazing.”
“Those are great sportswomen. Great in what they do. I respect their work. I follow their work. They are phenomenal. They are strong. What I can say, I have one word for them: They are fantastic.
“I feel blessed, privileged to be among a list of great women like that. So what I can say is may they keep working hard and God bless them. Being nominated with the best, I feel like I am a winner already.”
Looking back at her career, Semenya, is quick to pick out the highlights.
“I would say that Rio (Olympics in 2016) is one of my highlights, and obviously back then (at the World Championships in 2009) was the first time I made it to the scene. So those were the highlights of my life. But if you were a young girl, you know, I had to grow. I had to be mature.
“I had to find a way how to make decisions and how to make right ones and how to pick the wrong ones and take them out. I think winning in 2009 and winning in Rio are the best moments of my life, I can never forget.”
And talking about her goals for 2018 Semenya added: “I’ll start with nationals, middle of March, and then obviously we will have the Commonwealth Games where I will also try the double again, so I can be able to win two golds.
“That is the main goal. And then we still have African Champs and the World Cup.”