They told her to be invisible and all she heard was INVINCIBLE!!! Olympic champion Caster Semenya wins Doha Diamond League 800m race, and South Africa cannot be prouder!
South Africa – Double Olympic champion Caster Semenya took the unfavourable International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) decision in her stride as she won the Women’s 800m race at the Diamond League race in Doha on Friday evening.
The 28-year-old South African Olympic champion dominated the rest of the field to surge to victory in 1:54.98, a meeting record and world-leading time for 2019.
In April 2018, the IAAF announced new rules that required hyperandrogenous athletes to take medication to lower their testosterone levels, effective beginning in November 2018. Due to the narrow scope of the changes, which apply to only those athletes competing in the 400m, 800m, and 1500m, many people thought the rule change was designed specifically to target Semenya.
On 19 June 2018, Semenya announced that she would legally challenge the “unfair” IAAF rules, and her legal hearing began on 18 February 2019. On 1 May 2019, the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected her challenge, paving the way for the new rules to come into effect on 8 May 2019
This decision could end her career if she wishes not to comply with the required hormonal treatments that would reduce her testosterone levels and make her eligible to compete in her favoured categories, being the 400m and 800m.
But South Africans, as well as global athletes have stood behind the golden girl, proving that no matter the outcome Caster will always have the support of her fans.
Indian sprinter Dutee Chand, who faced the same persecution spoke out in defence of Caster saying,
“This is wrong. I feel sad for her, she has been made to suffer like me,”
“It was my legal team that handled her case. The team that fought my case, I handed them over to Caster Semenya,” Chand said.
“I think she and her team will find a way out. She is an Olympic medallist, and her country is behind her.”
Caster spoke out after the ruling went ahead saying that she is aware that it has been implemented solely to target her, but she will not let the IAAF win, they may have won this round, but she will be back.
“I know that the IAAF’s regulations have always targeted me specifically. For a decade the IAAF has tried to slow me down, but this has actually made me stronger.”
“The decision of the CAS will not hold me back. I will once again rise above and continue to inspire young women and athletes in South Africa and around the world.”- Caster Semenya
The Sports and Recreation minister Ms Tokozile Xasa released a statement supporting Caster as well and tanking everyone that has been supporting the “golden girl” of South Africa.
“Naturally we are disappointed with the judgement, however, we have directed ASA to request a copy of the full judgement. We will study the judgement, consider it and determine a way forward. As the South African government, we have always maintained that these regulations trample on the human rights and dignity of Caster Semenya and other women athletes. We will comment further after studying the full judgement.”
“The kind of support that Ms. Semenya received amongst South Africans was heartwarming it was a true South African spirit of Ubuntu. The international community through the Human Rights Council of the United Nations has once more proven to be a body worthy of its name.”
“I truly thank all teams who have worked beyond the call of duty, you are true patriots. I have no doubt that our case was compelling and the amount of support we have received was through your hard work.”
Minister Xasa has assured Caster that South Africa will continue to support her and help her navigate the future with her.
“You remain our Golden Girl, what you have done for our people and girls is enormous. You have flown our flag high, you have united a nation and inspired a rural girl. For that, we thank you Mokgadi.”
[Statement] Minister of @SPORTandREC_RSA Ms. Tokozile Xasa on the outcome of the Court of Arbitration for Sport case on matter involving, Ms. #CasterSemenya, Athletics South Africa and the International Association of Athletics Federations’ #IAAF #WeAreCasterSemenya pic.twitter.com/yJP74Ndxfs
— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) May 1, 2019
Social media has been flooded with support in favour of Caster, many calling the ruling a violation of her human rights. We join social media users and stand with Caster Semenya, the “golden girl” of South Africa.
— Caster Semenya (@caster800m) May 2, 2019