Thursday, July 08, 2010

Coming Soon To A Track Near You-Caster Semenya!

800m world champion Caster Semenya of South Africa has had a tumultuous eleven months ever since she claimed the championship in convincing fashion at last year's IAAF World Championships in Berlin in the fifth fastest time ever run by a female athlete.

The now 19-year-old Semenya was given the green light to run again after a review by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) of her gender verification tests.

The approval clears the last hurdle standing in her way to compete in IAAF sanctioned international track events. She can compete as early as the IAAF World Junior Championships taking place in Moncton, NB, Canada July 19-25 and the October 3-14 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.

The IAAF said in a statement on the matter, "The IAAF accepts the conclusion of a panel of medical experts that she can compete with immediate effect."

"The medical details of the case remain confidential and the IAAF will make no further comment on the matter."

Semenya and South Africa were obviously happy about the IAAF decision.

"I am thrilled to enter the global athletics arena once again and look forward to competing with all the disputes behind me," she said in a statement released by her lawyers.

Her attorney Jeffrey Kessler said, "We are delighted that Caster is finally being permitted to compete with other women, as is her legal and natural right."

"Hopefully, this resolution will set a precedent so that no female athlete in the future will have to experience the long delays and public scrutiny which Caster has been forced to endure."

Ruling ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu stated about the decision, "The ANC welcomes the decision by the IAAF to finally clear our 'golden girl', Caster Semenya, to participate in all athletics meetings as well as the international ones as a woman,"

"The decision by the IAAF of clearing Caster is a vindication of the ANC, her family, our government and all progressive forces who stood behind her during her time of need."

Mthembu added: "We appeal to all South Africans and people of the world and other athletes to assist Caster in putting the unfortunate past behind her so that she can continue on what she does best, which is running."

Alright, Caster! Hope you kick ass, take names and will be standing in 2012 on the top steps of the victory podium in London holding the 800m Olympic gold medal.

No comments: