From the blog

SOUTH AFRICA: Golden Girl Semenya Returns To World Stage In Previously Barred Race

Caster Semenya made her first appearance in the world championships since 2017 and she says she feel blessed just to be able to run the 5km again at a world championship in Eugene.

In temperatures that hit 32C, the South African finished 13th out of 16 runners in her heat in a time of 15min 46.12sec, almost a minute behind the winner, Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia.

“I’m cooking, It was hot and I could not keep up with the pace. I think it is great to be able to run here. Just being able to finish the 5km, for me it is a blessing. I am learning and I am willing to learn even more.”

The South African last competed at a world championship in London in 2017 where she won her third 800m world crown.

A year later she won double gold in the 800m and 1500m at the Commonwealth Games which is the last time she represented South Africa in a global international competition.

Semenya was forced to switch from her favoured distance to the longer event due to gender eligibility rules that required her to take testosterone-reducing drugs to compete in races between 400m to a mile.

World Athletics bars women athletes with high testosterone levels from competing in shorter races because the governing body says the hormone increases muscle mass and oxygen uptake.

Semenya, who became a world champion at 18 years of age in Berlin in 2009, has made several unsuccessful legal attempts to overturn the ruling.

Sebastian Coe, the world Athletics president has said current restrictions on events from the 400m to the mile were “not set in tablets of stone” stressing that gender eligibility rules would not be changed any time soon.