CAPE TOWN – Caster Semenya, fresh from her stunning South African 1 500m record at the Diamond League opener in Doha, has issued another hard-hitting message to her critics following the IAAF ruling on female classification last month.
The 27-year-old Semenya broke the magical four-minute mark for the first time in her career last Friday in Qatar when she stopped the clock at 3:59.92 to improve her own national record of 4:00.71.
That was as big a statement as she could make on the track to the IAAF that she would not let the new regulations – for female athletes who compete in races from the 400m to the mile, and which are scheduled to take effect in November – with high testosterone levels get to her.
On Tuesday, she took to Twitter and posted a photo of herself greeting fans during a meeting earlier in the year in South Africa with the following words: “It’s all about loving one another. It is not about discriminating and looking at people in terms of how they look, how they speak and how they run. It’s not about being masculine. It’s about sports.”
Semenya won’t be at the next Diamond League meeting in Shanghai this Friday, as there aren’t any 400m, 800m or 1 500m events. So the next time the 27-year-old will be on the track will be the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday, May 26, where she will participate in the 800m against a high-class field.
Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi and Margaret Wambui of Kenya, who came second and third respectively to Semenya at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will resume their rivalry with the South African star, while American Ajeé Wilson – who claimed the bronze medal at the 2017 world championships and is the third fastest in the field – will also be a contender for victory.