- Parents and supporters of the new 800m ladies world record holder have dismissed calls for the gender test of the champion as pure jealousy and racist.
The South African new flyer, Caster Semenya, shocked the world yesterday when she won the 800m race in what commentators said looked like a 20m gap between herself and the silver medallist. She also set a new record winning the race at 1.55.45, about 2.45 seconds ahead of defending champion Janeth Jepkosgei.
The 18-year-old South Africa may be stripped of her title if she is found to be a man as speculated at the Berlin world championships.
The international athletics federation, IAAF will be waiting for the gender tests of the athlete after South Africa was apparently asked three weeks prior to the event for such.
However, IAAF officials have said results to such tests will not be out soon, with a few weeks expected for the release of the results.
Semenya, who has a strong manly build, hails from the Limpopo province of the country and has today been crowned South Africa’s ‘Little Golden Girl’ amidst international controversy and headlines questioning her sexuality.
Even the ruling party has also joined the protest calling on South Africans to support and rally behind her.
"We call on all South Africans to rally behind our golden girl and shrug off negative and unwarranted questions about her gender," the ruling ANC said in a statement.
Semenya’s story has fuelled a lot of debate amongst South Africans from all sectors, saying if she was from one of the developed countries, there would have never been any doubts about her sexuality.
If tests confirm her to be a man, Semenya would not be the first to be disqualified and stripped of the medal, with at least one case in Zimbabwe of Sithole and numerous others in Europe and Asia.
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