Caster Semenya won the women’s 800m at the Doha Diamond League on Friday, setting a meeting record and seemingly batting away retirement talk.
“You try to be in front of me, I jump you,” Semenya told reporters after the race.
The win comes just days after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that the IAAF’s so-called DSD regulations are “discriminatory”, but “necessary”.
The court raised several concerns with both the consistent
implementation of the regulations and some of the science behind it. While
Semenya and her legal team are still considering whether they want to appeal
the verdict (they have 30 days from the ruling to do so), the IAAF are forging
Women competing in the 400m to one-mile events will have to take performance-limiting drugs if
they want to race in those events. The rules will officially come into play on
Wednesday, 8 May 2019.
Semenya, when asked whether she would comply and take the
medication answered with a resounding: “Hell no”.
The double-Olympic champion hinted that while her main goal
is to defend her 800m world title later in the year, she might do something “crazy”
like switch to the longer 5000m distance (where she recently won the South
She told reporters:
“This is all about inspiring the world. This is more than a game, more than sports. This is about human dignity, human pride. What you do if you’re inspiring the world.
“People fight me, I don’t fight them. I live life and I enjoy it.”
Ever since bursting onto the scene as an 18-year old,
Semenya has handled everything the IAAF has thrown at her with grace.
And while there’s been a lot of tears from athletes like Lynsey Sharp, Semenya’s just carried on doing what she does best – winning.
In 2018, she featured in a Nike advert which has now become more relevant than before. While
there’s a fine-line between jumping on the bandwagon of support and really
backing somebody to the hilt, Nike’s
got a reputation of supporting female athletes.
After her win, her sponsor shared a simple Tweet.
But it’s the 2018 advert that really brings it home.
Watch: Semenya’s powerful advert
The South Africa narrates the advert, saying:
Would it be easier for you if I wasn’t so fast?
Will it be simpler if I stopped winning?
Would you be more comfortable if I was less proud?
Would you prefer I hadn’t worked so hard?
Or I just didn’t run?
Or chose a different sport?
Or stopped at my first steps?
That’s too bad. Because I was born to do this.
And as Semenya herself said after winning on Friday:
Impossible is nothing.