Caster Semenya has raced from 200m to 5,000m this season. Her WL 800m of 1:54.98 was run in Doha on 3 May. This was two days after CAS ruled in support of the IAAF, meaning that Caster, due to her biological characteristics (XY), cannot race with women in events at 400m to the mile, without undertaking procedures to lower her natural testosterone to levels similar to women (XX).
Justin Lagat wrote this piece for us, on Caster Semenya competing at the Nike Pre Classic, to be held 30 June 2019 in Palo Alto, CA. (To learn more on the Pre Classic, please go to www.preclassic.com).
Caster Semenya enters the 3000m event at the Eugene Diamond League
Many track fans may have expected to see the last of Caster Semenya participating in the Diamond League races after the new rules came in place as from 8th May to bar her from participating in events between the 400m and the mile. But, it seems the two times Olympic and three times world champion who has been unbeatable over the 800m distance already had a plan B in place.
Semenya has been entered in the Pre Classic diamond league meeting which is scheduled for June 30th, to in run the women’s 3000m. This event does not fall under the IAAF’s new testosterone regulations.
“I keep training. I keep running,” Semenya had said on May 3 after winning her last 800m race in Doha. “It doesn’t matter if something comes in front of me. I always find a way.” Semenya had the option of taking the testosterone-suppressing drugs and remain competing in the 800m event, but she chooses instead to move to the longer distances on the track.
Despite one of the best ever fields being announced for the 3000m race in Eugene, Semenya who has hitherto established her name in the 400m, 800m and 1500m events seem to be the one taking the biggest portion of the pre-race conversations here.
Among the big names who will line up against Semenya include Hellen Obiri the world 5000m champion who has so far won the first 3000m Diamond League race in Doha, Almaz Ayana the Olympic 10,000m champion and world record holder, Genzebe Dibaba the 1500m world-record holder and Sifan Hassan who is the world bronze medalist at 1500m and 5000m events.
Others to watch will be Senbere Teferi with a personal best time of 14:23:33 which is the 9th fastest time ever run by a woman, Lilian Kasait who placed 3rd in Doha despite falling down in the last stages of the race and managing to fight her way back to the podium, Letensenbet Gidey who is the rapidly growing new star from Ethiopia and Fantu Worku who recently won the Ethiopian 5000m national title.
Who knows? Perhaps after this race in Eugene, the South African track and field federation may not see the need to appeal the CAS ruling.