Caster Semenya will make her international debut in the 3000m. Photo: EPA
Continuing her defiance of the IAAF’s controversial female eligibility rules, Caster Semenya will compete in the 3000m at the Diamond League Prefontaine Classic on Sunday, June 30.

The 3000m is outside the restricted events that require Semenya and other athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD) to lower their testosterone levels.

It will be Semenya's first international race over the distance and only the third time she will compete in the event.

Prefontaine meet director Tom Jordan told AFP he was happy to include Semenya in the world-class field after a request by her agent.

“To be honest, I’m as curious as anyone to see how she will fare against the world’s best distance runners,” Jordan said.

“Don’t forget, Semenya has broken 4:00 for 1500m, which relatively few athletes have done.”

The field includes world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri, 2016 world indoor 1500m champion Sifan Hassan, and 2018 world indoor 1500 and 3000m champ Genzebe Dibaba.

Semenya has a 3000m best of nine minutes, 36.29 seconds clocked two years ago in Potchefstroom. While most of the Prefontaine field has gone well below nine minutes, Semenya has made big strides in the longer distances.

Her PB was also a season opener after an extended break from the track and getting married to long-time girlfriend Violet Raseboya at the beginning of 2017.

She won her maiden 5000m national title last month in 16:05.97 to beat Rio Olympian Dominique Scott-Efurd.

Meanwhile, the IAAF’s ban has left a deep void in the women’s 800m field at next week’s Stockholm Diamond League meet.

Semenya and fellow DSD athletes, Olympic silver and bronze medallists Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi and Kenya’s Margaret Wambui, are clear omissions.

While sports minister Tokozile Xasa has instructed Athletics SA to appeal the Court of Arbitration for Sport's ruling on the controversial eligibility rules, Semenya’s legal team is yet to announce their next move.

@ockertde 


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