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#Rio2016: South African Caster Semenya wins Gold in Women’s 800m Event as IAAF Presses Case on Whether Should Compete with Other Women

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 20: Gold medalist Caster Semenya of South Africa stands on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Women's 800 meter on Day 15 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 20: Gold medalist Caster Semenya of South Africa stands on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Women’s 800 meter on Day 15 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

South Africa’s Caster Semenya on Saturday night, won gold – her first olympic medal – in the women’s 800m event at #Rio2016.

She crossed the finish line in 1:55.28. The time was her personal best, a new South African national record, and the fifth-fastest time in Olympic history.

Behind her, Francine Niyonsaba, the world Indoor champion, grabbed silver in 1:56.49 to win Burundi’s first ever female Olympic athletics medal.

Kenya’s Margaret Wambui, 20, won gold after clocking at 1:56.89 – her personal best.

Caster’s Rio Olympics campaign has been filled with controversy as to whether she should compete as a woman because of her hyperandrogenism condition. Read about it here.

Just two hours before her race, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)’s president, Sebastian Coe, said again that the governing body will soon go back to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) to try to overturn a decision it took in July, 2015, that the IAAF should provide evidence proving exactly how much of an advantage hyperandrogenic runners had over everyone else.

The IAAF believes that she, and all other hyperandrogenic athletes, should not be allowed to compete unless they take action to suppress their naturally high testosterone levels.

Speaking after her victory, she said: “I dedicate this to my team. They’ve done a fantastic job. It’s a great feeling. Just fantastic. I couldn’t believe it. Just fantastic”.

Semenya explained that Nelson Mandela had once told her: “Sports is meant to make people feel united” 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”.

Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

20 Comments

  1. Ethio

    August 21, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    SHE secretes oestrogen, she’s therefore a woman. why the need to call a woman a man because she’s got strength? fellow feminists get in here! lol

    • CovertNigerian

      August 21, 2016 at 10:16 pm

      It’s really not that straightforward. Do you know that she has higher than normal levels of natural testosterone and so strength for a woman? She also has internal testes instead of ovaries? It’s the way she was born but I can understand why under women athletes may question whether it is fair for them to compete against her – it really isn’t much of a contest. She is bound to remain dominant unless something changes.

      The questions around Caster Semenya certainly require some kind of conversation but there’s no need for bitterness.

    • Melycherie

      August 21, 2016 at 11:19 pm

      She has higher than normal testosterone but tests showed that this has no impact on her physical abilities. Usian bolt has a more than average height that is his physical advantage that enables him to run fast should he be penalised too? Maybe those freakishly tall basket ballers who can literary touch d net. Her difference is genetic not enhanced so if it gives her an advantage so bloody what she is biologically a woman the bias is her physical appearance

    • le coco

      August 22, 2016 at 7:12 am

      @covert Nigerian.. you are exactly right.. there needs to be a conversation about this whole thing.. however i feel that since she has both male and female organs, she shld identify with the one she always has.. which is female.. because its like telling her that she doesnt fit into either gender… i feel for her.. this lady has made her country proud.. and they shld leave her be.. would they have made this statement if she didnt win a medal? or if she competed amongst men and won would they say that because she is a woman she got an unfair advantage? she has truly been humiliated enough… Welldone caster

    • Amaa

      August 22, 2016 at 4:05 pm

      Nature put it in there so the question should be should we judge her based on what nature have given her .
      She has a womb ,mammary gland and a vagina so what is the problem. Back in the day we had girls in uni who looked like men they even had broken voices but they where women one said that her husband got a lot of fire for marrying her. Reason being she won’t have a baby. He asked all his family a question what test did you all do medically to come to that conclusion he went ahead and married her they have 2 children now. My point is this no one should judge you based on what God has done given you . Michael Phelps looks like a fish his abnormal long torso is an unfair advantage in my OPINION . We as Africans are solidly behind you Semenya. The WM should go and take a dive in lake chad rubbish.

    • Passer by

      August 22, 2016 at 7:16 pm

      Where did you get information that people with hyperandrogenism have internal testis. Stop spreading false information

    • CovertNigerian

      August 22, 2016 at 8:10 pm

      @Passer by – Please read carefully before attacking me, lest you embarrass yourself. I made a specific statement about Caster Semenya, not a broad one about ALL people with hyperandrogenism. You have essentially rebuked me for saying something I didn’t. My comment is right there in black and white, as intended. There’s no need to embellish it with your imagination.

      I have not personally reviewed the leaked details of the tests that were carried out on her but they’ve been widely reported on. For instance according to The Atlantic:

      “But according to a leaked medical test, Semenya’s testosterone levels are three times as high as those of most women, and she has internal testes instead of ovaries.”

      theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/08/caster-semenya-and-the-abnormal-olympic-body/496724/

      I do not peddle in rumours.

    • FACTS.

      August 22, 2016 at 8:08 pm

      Caster Semenya has no womb, and no ovaries but does have internal testes i.e. the male sexual organs which produce testosterone.

      Caster Semenya has THREE times the normal amounts of testosterone that a normal female would have.

      These are FACTS.

      Face the facts and stop all the silly sentimentalism and pseudo-intelligent on-trendness by crying feminism and/or exposing yourself to ridicule by ridiculing others who have stated facts by stating the facts stated are not possible and insulting them. Google remains ever friendly.

      With all these FACTS, Caster Semenya continues to compete in women’s competitions and South Africa vehemently and aggressively supports because it wants the medals.

      It’s not fair to the women whose competitions Caster Semenya is being allowed to trespass in.

      Caster Semenya knows full well where he belongs and is merely manipulating the system. Caster Semenya (I only just now noticed that most of his surname is “”Semen””) is married to A WOMAN. What’s more, in their wedding photos, he is dressed as the man. He so clearly identifies as a man but for competitions, for glory, for money, he suddenly is this woman no one should dare question.

      NO.

  2. Benny

    August 21, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Does she have a vagina? If so, she is a woman. Case closed.

  3. Anon

    August 21, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Well done.

  4. Ada Nnewi

    August 21, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    If bruce jenner can be accepted as caitlyn….then caster should be accepted as a woman….

    • Iris

      August 22, 2016 at 12:02 am

      It’s true o. In this world of ‘I identify as.. ‘ they want to deprive her of her womanhood. After all,Catlin has used surgery to narrow the dating pool for female California locals at the very least.

  5. Just my 1 Cents

    August 21, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    What’s next??? They will start telling black people to only compete with blacks because we have an “unfair” advantage of natural strength. What utter rubbish..

    She’s a strong woman with manly features. If she wasn’t winning medals, they wouldn’t complain. People are just envious that she’s succeeding. There’s another Indian athlete that has the same thing as Semanya, but they didn’t disturb her bc she isn’t dominating.

    Congratulations jare. Continue to make your country proud!

  6. Victor Adegoke

    August 22, 2016 at 7:18 am

    Congats to the south African. Her Sexual issues is her personal problem,if the Organisers did not see her as fit,she would have been disqualified. You can get updates on football analysis about the new Season on segungoke.blogspot.com.ng.

  7. Chi

    August 22, 2016 at 8:32 am

    She married a woman therefore she identifies as a man. Go run with the men

    Gbam

    • Anon

      August 22, 2016 at 9:49 am

      Dense!

  8. Ch

    August 22, 2016 at 8:50 am

    For me, the only time this would fly is when they measure everybody else’s hormone levels, and let people within the same range compete. Does that even make sense? The poor lady didn’t create herself, fingers are not equal (so also testosterone), so why deny her an opportunity to compete in sports if that’s what she loves to do? They need to leave her be abeg..

  9. marlvina

    August 22, 2016 at 11:26 am

    If she were to be white, no one or committee wld bring up any stupid case!

  10. tunmi

    August 22, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    Congratulations!!!!! African nations swept the medals!!!!

  11. Asabs

    August 23, 2016 at 7:13 am

    What’s her genetic code. Is she XX. If she is then it’s settled, she is female. It doesn’t matter if she’s hyperandrogenic. So many women are. Have men with hypoandrogenic conditions been asked to compete with women?

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