For the 30th straight time on the track, Caster Semenya won an 800-meter race. The South African runner led from the gun at today’s Diamond League meet in Doha, Qatar, winning by 2.77 seconds with a 1:54.98 result, the fourth-fastest time of her career.
Today’s race was the final time Semenya could hit the track before the IAAF implements its new discriminatory regulations governing the testosterone levels of women competing in races longer than 400 meters and shorter than a mile. Semenya has been targeted by the IAAF and opponents for years because she has a naturally high level of testosterone. Earlier this week, she lost an appeal against the federation, which means that she would need to take medication to lower her levels of testosterone in order compete in IAAF-sanctioned women’s events.
From what she said to reporters after winning in Doha, it doesn’t sound like she’s going to roll over:
Semenya won the South African 5,000-meter championship this past weekend, and she announced plans to compete for 800-meter gold at the IAAF World Championships in September. IAAF regulation or not, she said, “No man can tell me what to do.”