Monday, June 07, 2010

More Semenya Setbacks

800m World Champion runner Caster Semenya of South Africa has been impatiently waiting to get back on the track since she burst onto the international track scene at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin.

She blistered the field with a 1:55:45 time that is the fifth best time ever run by a woman in history, and ever since then has been dogged by questions about her gender. The IAAF ordered gender test results are supposed to be available later this month.

Semenya is understandably frustrated and angry about the delays and being denied the opportunity to compete in a meet at Stellenbosch, South Africa at the request of Athletics South Africa (ASA). The ASA has counseled the 19 year old to await the IAAF gender test results before she returns to 800 meter racing.

She was left off the South African team competing in the 2010 IAAF African Championships in Nairobi, Kenya July 28 despite having qualified for it by virtue of her championship winning time in Berlin.

Semenya announced her intention to return to competition at the June 24 EAA meet in Zaragoza, Spain.

However, the Zaragoza EAA meet has been cancelled due to a budget shortfall according to the meet organizers. It had been in financial difficulties in past years and the Spanish Athletics Federation stated there was no chance of it returning this year.

So once again, Caster Semenya's return to track is on hold along with a definitive resolution to this gender controversy that has been painfully public for her and glacially slow in the way it has played out.

The cynic in me says maybe that was the intent in the first place, since the London Olympic Games are only two years away.

We'll find out at the end of the month.

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