Sunday 17 February 2019

World 1,500m bronze medallist Caster Semenya takes umbrage with IAAF plans to bring back gender testing

South Africa's Caster Semenya (centre) during the Women's 1500m Heat One during day one of the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium
South Africa's Caster Semenya (centre) during the Women's 1500m Heat One during day one of the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium

Caster Semenya surged to a World Championships bronze medal in the women's 1500 metres before rounding on athletics' world governing body for its plan to reintroduce gender testing.

South Africa's Semenya has been scrutinised for high levels of testosterone ever since emerging as 800m world champion in 2009, aged 18.

The IAAF wants to reinstate rules limiting how much testosterone female athletes can have in their bodies following research into hyperandrogenism.

The rule had been suspended by the Court of Arbitration for Sport for two years in July 2015 and now the IAAF wants it to return.

Semenya said: "For me I have no time for that. It's been like this since 2009. For me, when you listen to music and have one song playing each and every time... it's been almost nine years and it's quite boring. I have no time for that."

Semenya, the Olympic 800m champion, finished third as Kenya's Faith Kipyegon won gold in four minutes 02.59 seconds on day four in London.

Jennifer Simpson of the United States took silver and Semenya pipped Briton Laura Muir with a late dip for the line.

Jamaica finally won a gold medal on Monday. Olympic champion Omar McLeod triumphed in the 110 metres hurdles, to make some amends for Usain Bolt and Elaine Thompson missing out in the 100m on Saturday and Sunday night respectively.

McLeod won in 13.04, 0.10 ahead of defending world champion Sergey Shubenkov, one of 19 Russians permitted to compete as a neutral here. Balazs Baji of Hungary took bronze in 13.28.

McLeod said: "It was probably the best line up in history. I knew in order to win I had to do it the Omar McLeod way.

"I had to bring my own spark back. And I did that."

Russia is banned by the IAAF for institutionalised doping, but athletes who could prove their cleanliness were permitted to compete.

Asked about being a neutral athlete, Shubenkov said: "Not a big deal.

"It means a lot for every person in my country that was watching and supporting me. That's it. The colour of the vest doesn't matter."

Venezuela's Yulimar Rojas won the women's triple jump with a best leap of 14.91 metres.

Olympic silver medallist Rojas' leapt two centimetres further than Colombia's Caterine Ibarguen, the 2013 and 2015 world champion and gold medallist in last year's Olympics.

Bronze went to Olga Rypakova of Kazakhstan in 14.77.

Two-time Olympic champion Anita Wlodarcyzk of Poland won her second successive hammer world title and third in all with a best throw of 77.90m.

Silver went to Zheng Wang of China with 75.94 and bronze to Malwina Kopron of Poland with 74.76.

Wlodarcyzk said: "I expected to throw 80 metres or even a world record attack. But now I am happy for gold."

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