She did it! Caster Semenya hurtles to the 800 m gold in Rio

By admin
21 August 2016

The Limpopo-born athlete did her country proud in the final at this year's Olympics in Rio, Brazil, racing to the finish line in 1:55:28.

Caster Semenya's race was at two in the morning, but so worth waking up for!

The Limpopo-born athlete did her country proud in the 800 m final at this year's Olympics in Rio, Brazil, racing to the finish line in 1:55:28.
Francine Niyonsaba from Burundi and Margaret Wambui from Kenya earned the silver and bronze medals respectively.
Caster's medal takes SA's tally to ten -- Team SA earned two gold, six silver and two bronze in Rio. After the race, Caster walked up to all of her competitors afterwards and hugged them or shook their hands.
It's been a tough week for the athlete, who's found herself under international scrutiny -- as is the case every time she competes on this level. But South Africans stood behind their star, and hashtags like #HandsoffCaster and #TeamCaster were trending on social media in the run up to her race.

In sports circles Caster is judged differently than other athletes, sports scientist Dr Ross Tucker told YOU, after critics accused the 25-year-old of holding back in London in 2012.

After the controversy over her gender following the World Championships in Berlin in 2009 and her readmittance to international competition about 10 months later, she still finds herself in a difficult situation: if she wins it’s attributed to a so-called unfair advantage; if she loses (or gets a silver, as she did in the London Olympics) she’s accused of running slower to avoid the “intense allegations” that would follow a win.

It’s remarkable she had the courage to run at all, Dr Tucker said.

But, as Lappe Laubscher, an Olympic historian from Pretoria, told YOU: Every once in the while a superathlete comes along.

Usain Bolt is one. Wayde is another. And so is Caster. They’re in a league of their own.

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South Africans on social media are standing together and the message is clear – #HandsOffCaster

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