Tokyo Olympics

Wayde finally qualifies for Tokyo Olympics, Caster fails once again

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Olympic gold medallist Wayde van Niekerk (Gallo Images)
Olympic gold medallist Wayde van Niekerk (Gallo Images)
Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Reigning 400m Olympic champion and world record holder Wayde van Niekerk has qualified for next month's Tokyo Olympics, while Caster Semenya has failed once again.

Van Niekerk clocked 44.56 seconds at the Continental Tour Silver event in Madrid on Saturday - finishing 0.34 seconds inside the qualifying time. 

The South African finished second as Colombia's Anthony Jose Zambrano won in 44.51 to also ensure an Olympic spot.

Up until this race, Van Niekerk hadn't yet made the qualifying mark for the Tokyo Games in either the 200m (20.24s) or 400m.

Meanwhile, Semenya failed again to qualify for the 5 000 metres at the Sparkassen Gala in Germany on Saturday evening.

Semenya clocked 15:57.12 - 47 seconds outside the qualifying time of 15:10.00 to ensure her place in next month's Olympics, which gets under way from 23 July-8 August.

The two-time 800m Olympics gold medallist finished fourth in Regensburg as local athlete Miriam Dattke won the race in 15:34.92. 

Semenya is trying to secure her place in Team SA's Olympic squad in the 5 000m after being denied an opportunity to compete in her specialist event.

This is after World Athletics enacted regulations prohibiting women with differences of sexual development (DSD) from competing in events ranging from 400m to the mile - unless they took hormone suppressors.

Semenya has since refused to take the testosterone-suppressing drugs and recently took her case to the European Court of Human Rights.

According to the Olympics website, Semenya's European manager said before the Regensburg meet that the runner would try again on 30 June in Belgium - although the qualifying cut-off is currently set for the day prior.

Last month, Semenya had failed in her attempt to achieve a 5 000m Olympic qualifying time when she clocked 15:32.15 in Durban.

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