Despite Landmark Case Loss, Caster Semenya To Race In Diamond League

Despite Landmark Case Lose, Caster Semenya To Race In Diamond League. PHOTO SOURCE: Reuters

Caster Semenya. PHOTO SOURCE: Reuters

South African runner, Caster Semenya will go face-to-face with those who have opposed her after confirming she will run at the IAAF‘s Diamond League opener in Doha on Friday.

Concise News reports that her late entry into the 800m at the Suhaim bin Hamad Stadium promises to make for an interesting moment for the organisers, as well as the athlete’s final race before the commencement of the IAAF’s controversial regulations over testosterone levels next Wednesday.

The 28-year-old faces an uncertain future at the highest level in the wake of Wednesday’s ruling in favour of the IAAF at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Semenya herself heightened that doubt by signing off a tweet on Thursday with words that translated into ‘I’m finished’, though figures in the sport believe it is more likely she will convert to the 5,000m rather than quit or bow to the requirement of taking medication to lower her testosterone in order to run the 800m or 1500m – distances included in the new regulations that cover 400m to a mile.

A further tweet from Semenya, who is considering an appeal, reads: ‘Knowing when to walk away is wisdom. Being able to is courage. Walking away with your head held high is dignity’.

IAAF president Seb Coe on Thursday broke his silence on the subject, although only briefly before suspending the conversation. Speaking in Doha, he says: “It is very straightforward for any association in sport.

“Athletics has two classifications – it has age and it has gender. We are fiercely protective of both. We are really grateful that CAS has upheld that principle.”

Thereafter, Coe refused to take more questions on a case that has drawn attention from around the world.

It will remain top of the agenda in Doha on Friday, not least because the 800m field will also include Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba, who took 800m silver behind Semenya at Rio 2016 and recently said for the first time that she will be affected by the regulations.

Interestingly, Britain’s Lynsey Sharp will also be running, having spoken out about Semenya after that Olympic final.

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Ridwan is a trained communicator who specialises in football and squash. He has been published by African Examiner. He provides professional coverage of general news, politics and sports, and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first Nigerian interview with South Africa's no. 1 male squash player, Jean-Pierre Brits. He is a proud Nigerian and campaigner for #NigeriaIsOurs.

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