Caster Semenya is taking the fight with IAAF to all the way to make sure she can defend her 800m title. Photo: Jeff Chiu/AP Photo
Caster Semenya is taking the fight with IAAF to all the way to make sure she can defend her 800m title. Photo: Jeff Chiu/AP Photo

Semenya determined to win IAAF fight

By Ockert de Villiers Time of article published Jul 2, 2019

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JOHANNESBURG - Running without the shackles imposed on her by the IAAF, Caster Semenya produced another impressive performance at the Prefontaine Classic in Stanford, California on Sunday evening.

She got her campaign for a fourth consecutive Diamond League Trophy back on track after she missed two 800m races due to the IAAF’s controversial regulations.

The two-time Olympic champion was in fine form despite the uncertainty hanging over her head posting the fastest time by any female athlete on American soil with her time of 1:55.70.

After the race, Semenya said she was willing to lose the battle but would not give up her fight in the ongoing war against the IAAF’s controversial female eligibility rules.

The rules were temporarily placed on ice thanks to a ruling by the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland pending Semenya’s appeal.

The super-provisional suspension allowed Semenya to once again line up in her favoured 800m event.

“My goal is to run the 800m and to defend my title, and if I am not allowed, I don’t give a damn,” Semenya said.

“We have a legal battle, which is like war; you don’t give up. At the end of the day it is about doing what makes me happy.”

Semenya went through the bell in a time of 57 seconds, opening the gap between her and the rest of the field.

She powered her way across the line three-seconds ahead of world bronze medallist Ajee Wilson of the United States in second place.

The win kept Semenya in the running in the Diamond League Trophy race after she missed the Stockholm meeting due to the implementation of the regulations.

She was denied entry to the Rabat Diamond League meeting despite being given the all clear by the Swiss court.

Meanwhile, world 400m record-holder Wayde van Niekerk announced another setback in his recovery from a serious knee injury which ruled him out of his anticipated international return at the London Diamond League meeting later this month.

“Wayde was pushing hard in training to test himself before his upcoming races, as he wants to show he can be competitive when he makes his comeback,” said Peet van Zyl of In-Site Athlete Management.

“He had MRI scans which showed the ligaments and meniscus in his (right) knee were fine, but unfortunately he picked up a bone bruise which has set him back five or six weeks.”


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