Semenya remains defiant regarding IAAF’s ruling

Caster Semenya smiling
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South Africa’s Golden Girl, Caster Semenya, remains defiant regarding the IAAF’s female classification ruling. The new ruling, which comes into effect on November 1, is targeted at restricting women athletes with high levels of testosterone from competing.

Semenya is arguably the most loved and celebrated athlete in hearts and minds of all South Africans.

Thousands of fans turned out to show their support in Sandton on Thursday morning, where the Olympic champion officially became an ambassador for a popular local health and fitness programme.

Records have tumbled in the wake of the 27-year-old on the track this season.

Semenya not only finished unbeaten in the 800 metres for the third consecutive year, she also set new South African records in the 400, 800, 1 000 and 1 500 meters.

But the IAAF’s recent ruling doesn’t bode well for the reigning world champion.

The new rule states that athletes competing in events between the 400 meters and the mile — who have testosterone levels of five nanomoles per litre or above — must either restrict their levels through medication, or look to compete against men.

“It’s not something that you can control. I can control what I can control. I am an athlete I can control my running. I can control my thinking, how I approach things but what an association does is not up to me. There’s not much I can say about the new rule. The new rule is a new rule if you succeed – you succeed; if you fail you fail. Of course there are people in charge of that. It’s a legal battle I can’t say anything I can control what I can control.”

And while the legal battle rages on at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland, Semenya has decided to focus her energy on the work she’s doing in her foundation — encouraging and uplifting the youth, particularly girls.”

“First it’s about developing the youth. Taking them out of the streets and into sports grounds and then taking them to school and of course than comes a health part where we distribute the menstrual cup to young girls to keep them in school. I can’t wait for this partnership and to work.”

Semenya, will continue to enjoy the off-season, relaxing, focusing on her studies and spending time with her family before resuming her preparations early next year.