ICONIC athlete Caster Semenya shamed all her detractors when she snatched the 800 metres gold medal as we all expected in 1 minute 55.53 seconds at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Just as I and the rest of the country had anticipated, Semenya did it in a whimsical fashion that disgraced her haters, particularly the International Athletics Associations Federations (IAAF) president Sebastian Coe.
It was Semenya’s personal best, a new South African national record, and the fifth-fastest time in Olympic history. What a moment to savour for Semenya!!!
British newspaper, The Guardian, observed aptly that Semenya “just may never gets to run so fast again,” after the strong-willed effort from our athlete.
Oh yes, she was determined and her fortitude came from the vehement support she received back home and other normal beings around the world, except Coe.
Semenya, 25, is hyperandrogenic and the IAAF believe that she, and all other hyperandrogenic athletes, should not be allowed to compete unless they take action to suppress their naturally high testosterone levels.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport disagrees, and in July last year they gave the IAAF two years to produce evidence proving exactly how much of an advantage hyperandrogenic runners had over everyone else. Just two hours before her race, Coe said again that they will soon go back to the CAS to try and overturn that decision.
How shameful that a IAAF president can stoop so low as to distract an athlete!
What kind of a father are you Coe? You don’t deserve to be a leader at all. Semenya is part of your flock and for you to segregate her because of natural circumstances just stinks in heaven.
If I was part of the IAAF I would have moved a motion for you to be removed. Why do you wash your dirty linen in public? Who are you trying to please? Shame on you!
Unlike Coe, Semenya refused to respond week, having grown sick of the scrutiny she was going through and when she spoke, she took Coe’s position through her humility.
Semenya explained that Nelson Mandela had once told her “sport is meant to make people feel unite people” and that’s what she is trying to do. “I think I have made a difference,” she said. “I have meant a lot to my people. I have done well. They are proud of me. And that was the main focus. I was doing it for my people, the people who support me.”
Semenya is not the only hyperandrogenic woman competing in these Olympics, but only just the most successful.
The other was Indian sprinter, Duttee Chand, who took her case to CAS, accusing the IAAF of discriminating against her by decreasing the limit of testosterone levels for female competitors.
But unfortunately Chand didn’t make it through the 100m heats, and the IAAF are most concerned about the impact of hyperandrogeny in the middle and long distance events.
The unpalatable but unavoidable fact is that while neither of the other two medallists, Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba and Kenya’s Margaret Wambui, have been diagnosed as hyperandrogenic, both been subjected to the kinds of innuendo which Semenya herself experienced in 2009.
All three were asked to comment on whether the IAAF had made them take hormone treatments to suppress their testosterone levels, and, if so, what effects those treatments had. Semenya’s times dropped considerably when she was taking the medication.
Semenya adds: “I think it is all about loving one another. It’s not about discriminating against people. It is not about looking at how people look, how they speak, how they run, it is not about being muscular. It is all about sport. When you walk out of your apartment you think about performing, you do not think about how your opponent looks. So I think the advice from me to everybody is just to go out there and have fun.”
What a way to humiliate your haters, Caster, humility in victory.
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