Caster Semenya is a winner. The 29-year-old South African is the two-time women’s 800m Olympic champion, a three-time 800m world champion and a double Commonwealth Games middle distance gold medallist. To wrap those figures in further context, when Semenya won the Doha Diamond League 800m in May 2019, it was her 30th consecutive victory over the distance.
Put simply, when fit, in-form and free to run without distraction, Semenya is almost unbeatable over the 800m. But these are not circumstances often afforded to Semenya, who lives with a condition in which her body produces a much higher level of testosterone than most other women.
In 2009, on the eve of the women’s 800m World Championship final, it was revealed that World Athletics (then the IAAF) had asked her to undergo gender verification testing. Semenya was permitted to compete in the final and won gold but was subsequently stopped from competing for nearly a year.
In 2011 the IAAF established official rules restricting female athletes with elevated levels of testosterone, arguing it presents an unfair advantage. From 2011 to 2019 Semenya was locked in a cycle of appeals and court cases until the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled in favour of IAAF regulations stating that female athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD) are required to take testosterone-reducing medication to compete in track events from 400m to the mile.
Caster Mokgadi Semenya) is a South African middle-distance runner and 2016 Olympic gold
medalist. Semenya won gold in the women's 800 metres at the 2009 World Championships with a time of 1:55.45 and at the 2017 World Championships in her new personal best, 1:55.16. Semenya also won the silver medal at the 2011 World Championships in the 800 metres. She was the winner of the gold medal in the 800 metre events at the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2016 Summer Olympics.
Following her victory at the 2009 World Championships, it was announced that she had been subjected to gender testing. She was withdrawn from international competition until 6 July 2010 when the IAAF cleared her to return to competition. In 2010, the British magazine New Statesman included Semenya in a list of "50 People That Matter.
Definitely viewed globally as one of the most iconic sports women ever to come from Africa having gone on to continue her winning streak beating numerous records. As well as winning Gold at the Olympics in Brazil in 2016.
In August 2017, Caster won gold in the 800 meters and bronze in the 1,500 meters at the World Cham- pionships in London. It was her third World Championship gold medal at 800m, an event she currently dominates.
Caster Semenya set her new lifetime best in the 800m at Diamond League – Monaco, last year as well as and she set the new World record in Doha for the 800m race.
Recently she was nominated amongst some of the greatest Sportswomen in the world for the Laureas Awards in the same category with Serena Wiliams who won the category, it goes without saying that a nomination on such a prestigious platform speaks volumes and has definitely placed her in a league amongst the world’s greatest athletes.
Caster Semenya has continued to dominate the local scene after running her fastest ever time on home soil in the 800m at the South African track and field championships at Tuks Stadium on the 16th of March 2018, and this record sets the scene for what you can expect from her for the upcoming season which is already underway. Her aim is to keep beating her last best run and she has the same attitude and ap- proach to life in general.
Having overcome so many obstacles, the gender testing being one of them, being in a same sex mar- riage, she has never let any of these issues hinder her performance on and off the track.
Between last year and this year alone she has also scooped up awards in the category of best sports woman of the year for at the SA Sports Awards, YOU Magazine amongst others.
From an educational perspective she recently graduated and obtained a qualification in Sports sciences; add that to her winning streak. Caster is very passionate about giving back to the community as that I where her dreams and talent was shaped and thus has launched a community outreach program to de- velop young athletes and currently has 13 young athletes she is training; we hope to build this empire to have National reach within the next 2 years.
Her latest win was early May 2018, where she won first place for the 1,500m race in Doha Diamond League and she has no intention of ever slowing down.
She is a global icon, an African Heroine and will go down in history as one of the greatest shape shifters ever to come out of Africa, put the beautiful continent on the map against the world.