South Africa’s Caster Semenya to race in California

Semenya will be part of the “greatest field of women distance runners ever assembled on American soil”.
Caster Semenya to race in California
South Africa’s Caster Semenya celebrates with flag after winning the athletics women’s 800m final during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast on April 13, 2018. (Photo by SAEED KHAN / AFP)

Two-time Olympic champion Caster Semenya will race the 3,000 metres at the Diamond League Prefontaine Classic in California.

Semenya can contest the 3000m without reducing her testosterone levels.

Semenya has insisted that she will not take medications in accordance with the new International Association of Athletics Federations rules governing testosterone levels in women athletes.

The new rules took effect on May 8, and requires women with higher than normal testosterone levels to take medication to lower the amount of testosterone in their bodies if they are to compete in races over distances of 400m to a mile.

On the Prefontaine Classic’s website, it stated that Semenya will be part of the “greatest field of women distance runners ever assembled on American soil”.

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“The field includes an intriguing wild card in Caster Semenya, the 2-time Olympic gold medalist and 3-time world champion at 800 meters making a significant move up in distance to challenge the world’s best. Five runners in the amazing field have won IAAF Diamond League trophies and major gold medals – all in the 1500 or longer except for Semenya,” the website says.

Semenya has won two Olympic golds at 800 meters and will be an underdog in the new distance, with the world 5,000-metres champion Hellen Obiri, 2016 world indoor 1,500-metres champion Sifan Hassan, and 2018 world indoor 1,500 and 3,000-metres champion Genzebe Dibaba all in contention for the number one spot.

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