Athletics

Caster overwhelmed by Laureus honour

Caster Semenya (Twitter)
Caster Semenya (Twitter)

Monaco - Whether she wins or not, South Africa's Caster Semenya is already overwhelmed at being nominated for the Sportswoman of the Year at Tuesday night's Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco. 

Semenya, who won gold in the 800m at the Rio Olympics in 2016, is up against five other strong contenders in the category. 

Six-time Olympic gold medallist Allyson Felix, swimmer Katie Ledecky, tennis star Garbine Muguruza, skiing sensation Mikaela Shiffrin and Serena Williams stand in Semenya's way. 

Regardless of what happens, though, Semenya is satisfied that she has been acknowledged as one of the globe's most dominant sportswomen. 

The 27-year-old addressed media in Monaco on Tuesday morning with wife Violet at her side, and she beamed at prospect of winning her first Laureus award.

"It’s a great feeling. It’s overwhelming," she said.

"For an athlete to be nominated amongst the greats, it’s always a privilege and an honour. As an athlete you have goals and you set standards.

"Growing up as a young girl, I wanted to be the best and this is the best that I could have asked for.

"If you reach this level it means you are amongst the greatest sportswomen in the world. It’s just a great feeling … I can’t explain it more."

Semenya, who has not always had it easy in her career since she was made the centre of a gender testing saga in 2009, thanked South Africans for the support they had given her over the years.

"We are proud South Africans. When we go out, we go all out," she said.

"Whatever we do, we fight for our country. We’re doing it for our people.

"Being the only African nominated in these prestigious awards is a great achievement."

In 2017, 400m world record holder Wayde van Niekerk was nominated in the Breakthrough of the Year category, but that honour went to former Formula One champion Nico Rosberg.

*Lloyd Burnard is in Monaco as a guest of Laureus ...

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