The Women’s 800m race at the Doha meeting of the IAAF Golden League will undoubtedly rank as the most anticipated athletic event outside of the Olympics in recent years.
The race could very well be the last ever for South African athletics heroine Caster Semenya, who lost her appeal against the IAAF’s testosterone limits, rules engineered specifically to target the Olympic gold medallist.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled Semenya can no longer run the women’s 800m at the international level without reducing her testosterone.
Semenya had not been entered into the meet in Doha but was a late entry just after the decision was handed down. The race would be the last Semenya could run with out submitting to reverse doping to alter her natural body chemistry. The circumstances surrounding her entry means this could very well be the night Semenya walks away from athletics.
2016 Olympic silver medallist Francine Niyonsaba, who recently revealed that she had differences is sexual development, will run alongside Semenya. Niyonsaba’s future remains uncertain as the regulations implemented are so clearly engineered to target Semenya, that they may not effect any other currently competing athletes.
Kenya’s Margaret Nyairera who also slammed the CAS decision this week lined up alongside Semenya in the race that also included Great British crybaby Lynsey Sharp.
When the race finally got underway Semenya settled in behind the early pace setter Yarigo. In the second 400m Semenya blew away the field with a classy performance timed at 1:54:98. Semenya appeared in complete control coming down the back straight and powered to the finish in serene style.
Semenya recorded her 30th career victory in businesslike fashion and showed no emotion in the immediate aftermath of the race.
The athlete may offer some comment to the press in Doha which we will bring to you as soon as it becomes available.