Caster: Nike 100% behind her ahead of world champs

2011-09-01 00:00

THE international sports brand, Nike, remains behind athlete Caster Semenya 100% as she takes to the track to defend her 2009 World Championship title in South Korea, Daegu today.

In 2009 Semenya won gold in the women’s 800 metres at the World Championships in Berlin with a time of 1:55.45 in the final.

The 20-year-old athlete originally from Polokwane was later banned from competing against women after her gender came under scrutiny after reports that she was a hermaphrodite.

In March 2010 she was denied an opportunity to take part in the local Yellow Pages Series V Track and Field event in Stellenbosch because of pending gender results from the sport’s world governing body, the International Association Athletics Federation (IAAF).

The IAAF only cleared her to compete in July last year after 11 months out of action.

However, she slowly gained momentum and she is fighting to remain the woman’s world champ in the 800 m race.

Nike’s new creative advert featuring Semenya prior to her challenge reads, “Not many believe I could come back. Not many believe I can do it again. But I believe in myself and I believe in my destiny…”

Nike South Africa’s communication manager, Seruscka Naidoo, said the advert celebrates Semenya as an athlete who has not given up even in the face of adversity, but also puts into context how she feels doing what she loves best — running.

“Caster Semenya has been a Nike athlete since early 2009. She has faced many adversities, but she continues to be an outstanding athlete and Nike supports her fighting spirit in the face of adversity,” Naidoo told The Witness.

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