Semenya to run for South Africa

Caster Semenya named in Commonwealth squad after announcing Diamond League debut.

    Semenya will make her Diamond League debut this week [AFP]

    Caster Semenya will return to major competition at the Commonwealth Games in India after she was included in South Africa's team.

    The world 800m champion has made just three competitive appearances since being cleared to race by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) after a series of gender verification tests.

    The 19-year-old has won each of her comeback races, although her best time – one minute, 59.90 seconds at a World Challenge event in Berlin on Sunday – was still short of her 1:55.45 at the world championships on the same track last year.

    South Africa's Olympic committee (Sascoc) on Wednesday named Semenya as one of 32 athletes, swimmers, cyclists and rugby sevens players added to South Africa's initial 115-strong team for the October 3-14 games in Delhi, which was announced last month.

    "I'm very happy to see the return of Caster Semenya to duty for South Africa," said Sascoc president Gideon Sam.

    "We have observed her progress closely since the IAAF cleared her to run and it's good to hear her say that she's focusing all her efforts on the Commonwealths."

    Diamond debut

    Semenya, who was out for 11 months while the controversy raged over her true gender, announced on Tuesday that she will run at the Diamond League final in Brussels on Friday and at two meets in Italy.

    The Diamond League was inaugurated in May this year to give athletics a worldwide appeal, replacing the Golden League which operated in Europe.

    Semenya beat a strong field at the Istaf meet on her return to Berlin on Sunday to continue her winning return to the sport.

    It was the first time the teenage athlete had run under two minutes since her return.

    "The fact that she's unbeaten in her three races thus far and has improved her time on each occasion is good news for our medal effort in New Delhi," Sam said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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