South African 800m Title winner to undergo Gender Test


Member of The Month SEPTEMBER 2009
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Jun 8, 2009
South African 800m Title winner to undergo Gender Test

South African teenager Caster Semenya won the women's 800m world title in Berlin on Wednesday, just hours after it was announced that she must undergo a gender test.
The 18-year-old timed 1minute 55.45seconds - the best time in the world this year - to beat defending champion Janeth Jepkosgei of Kenya by a huge two-and-a-half seconds (1:57.90).
Jennifer Meadows of Great Britain enjoyed the performance of her life to take the bronze (1:57.93).

The build-up to the race was overshadowed by the sport's governing body, the IAAF ordering the South African to undergo a gender verification test after rumours and gossip spread over the athlete's astonishing performances at the African junior championships.

IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said the investigation will take several weeks.

Semenya, who was rushed past waiting reporters at the end of the race, had said on Monday that the sport of athletics was not the be all and end all for her.

"I could walk away from this sport next year if I feel like it," she said.

Meadows said that she had tried to put the controversy to one side.

"We had to keep a level head and do the business," said Meadows after the final.

"We all may have our personal opinions, but professionally you just have to go out there and do your best in the race."

Semenya was an impressive winner on Wednesday. She stalked Jepkosgei for the first lap before moving up onto the 25-year-old's shoulder and then ahead at the bell.

There was no repetition of Sunday's first round heat when the two collided and Jepkosgei, the Olympic silver medalist, ended up on the ground before securing her place in the next stage on appeal.

Semenya led down the back straight while Jepkosgei slipped back to third as imposing Ukrainian Yuliya Krevsun loomed as an ominous threat to the South African.

However, Semenya upped a gear and, rounding the bend at the 300m mark, she opened an unbridgeable gap between herself and the rest.

She extended her lead down the finishing stretch while the others fought for minor medals.

Jepkosgei gathered herself well and fought back to get alongside Krevsun - well back in seventh in last year's Olympic final - while storming down the outside came Meadows with a superbly timed run.

Jepkosgei edged the silver on the line while Meadows did the same to the unfortunate 28-year-old Krevsun to take an unexpected bronze.


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