Now it’s really official – Caster Semenya is a two-time Olympic champion and three-time world champion, and the IAAF records reflect that.
South Africa’s golden girl was handed two further titles when Russian 800m athlete Mariya Savinova lost her appeal against a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Savinova was banned for four years and had her results from July 26, 2010 to August 26, 2013 removed from the records for using performance-enhancing drugs.
Savinova pipped Semenya to the line at the 2011 world championships and 2012 London Olympics.
But now Semenya’s respective silver medals have been upgraded to gold, and her honours list on the official IAAF website has been updated accordingly.
The 27-year-old said previously when the CAS made the ruling that it would be a hollow victory if Savinova’s ban was upheld.
“I ran the Olympics and I won the silver medal, so I can’t celebrate anything other than my silver. Even if they crown me Olympic champion, it is just an award from them I never celebrated,” Semenya said at the time.
“It wouldn’t mean anything for me, it would be great for my country, but for me as an athlete, I cannot entertain the thought.”
But Mzansi salutes our champion, Mokgadi Caster Semenya – and just in time for Women’s Day!
And the good news comes just a few days after Semenya starred at the African Championships in Nigeria last week, winning gold in the 400m and 800m and setting a new SA 400m record of 49.96 – the first time a local athlete has broken 50 seconds.@ashfakmohamed