Semenya Wins 1,500 Metres at South African Championships

GERMISTON, South Africa – Caster Semenya cruised to the 1,500 metres gold at the South African Athletics Championships on Friday, adding to the 5,000 title she claimed the previous day.

South Africa’s double Olympic champion Caster Semenya acknowledges a crowd after winning the 5,000m gold at South African Championships in Germiston, South Africa, April 25, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Semenya won in 4:13.59, 16 seconds ahead of second-placed Carmie Prinsloo in a typically dominant display that was still some way off her personal best.

The 28-year-old Semenya is a double Olympic gold medallist in the 800 metres, but has ditched that distance for this championship as she tests herself at longer runs.

Semenya is waiting for the outcome of her appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to halt the introduction of new regulations by the governing IAAF that would require her to take medicine to limit her natural levels of testosterone.

The IAAF wants female athletes with differences of sexual development who run in events from 400 metres to a mile to reduce their blood testosterone level to below five (5) nmol/L for a period of six months before they can compete, saying they have an unfair advantage.

Should her appeal be unsuccessful, Semenya would have to meet the IAAF requirements to keep running in the 800 and 1500 metres, but they would not apply were she to step up to 5,000.

Meanwhile, one of the longest winning streaks in sport ended on Friday when veteran hammer thrower Chris Harmse was beaten at the national championships for the first time in 24 years.

The 45-year-old’s crown was taken by Tshepang Makhethe, who is almost half his age, with a throw of 72.25 metres.

(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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