South Africa : Semenya runs back into competition

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Nearly a year after the controversy surrounding her gender, Caster Semenya, South Africa’s 800 metres World Champion, has been cleared: she can run again.

South Africa’s Caster Semenya has been given the all-clear to return to athletics by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

The world 800 metres champion has been out of the sport for 11 months after undergoing gender tests following her stunning performance in Berlin last summer.

“The IAAF accepts the conclusion of a panel of medical experts that she can compete with immediate effect, read a statement from the athletics body. Please note that the medical details of the case remain confidential and the IAAF will make no further comment on the matter.”

In 2009, Semenya, then barely 18, ran all over her opponents to crush them in the 800 metres World Championships in Berlin.

The furore over Semenya’s sexuality erupted after she lowered her personal best in the 800 metres by over four seconds at the African Junior Championships prior to the World Championships in Berlin.

Her time of 1min 56.72sec meant she had lowered her personal standard by seven seconds in just nine months. She went on to lower her personal best to 1:55.45 in Berlin.

The battle all over now for the female athlete who became a symbol of struggle in her home country, South Africa.

Semenya said: ‘I am thrilled to enter the global athletics arena once again and look forward to competing with all the disputes behind me.’

She could opt to compete in the World Junior Championships in Canada later this month and October’s Commonwealth Games in Delhi is likely to be high on her list of targets.

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