Written by Sakata Saturday, 09 July 2011 11:51
South African world 800 meters champion Caster semenya made a dramatic come back at the Samsung Diamond League in Paris last night.
The 800meters champion ship Rivals warily eyed the South African world 800 metres champion, whose 2009 victory in Berlin was clouded by controversy over her gender. Out on the track in the Stade de France, Semenya answered by comfortably beating the best 800m field assembled this year.
This victory was her most significant performance since she was allowed to return to competition 12 months ago, yet her time in cool and fairly windy conditions was modest to say the least. The South African won in 2min 00.18sec, from Morocco’s Halima Hachlaf (2:00.60). There was a familiar finish from Jenny Meadows, whose third place was the same as when she took bronze for Britain behind Semenya in that final two years ago, but her time of 2:00.74 here told as little about Meadows’ future as Semenya’s victory did about hers.
Semenya has yet to get within three seconds of the time that won in Berlin, and she is only sixth fastest in the world this year. The world athletics body, the International Association of Athletics Federations, will not comment on her condition or the examinations to which she was subjected before she was cleared to compete. However, there is compelling suspicion that the process included hormone replacement therapy, which may mean Semenya never runs as fast as her world title-winning 1:55.45 again.
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