Semenya wins 400m at African Champs
ASABA, Nigeria (AP)
Caster Semenya has won the 400 metres at the African championships and says she plans to compete at middle-distance in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics despite new IAAF rules starting in November that could prevent her running in her favoured events.
She set a South African record of 49.96 seconds to win gold in Asaba, Nigeria, yesterday, finishing well clear of Botswana's Christine Botlogetswe (51.19). Nigeria's Yinka Ajayi was third in 51.34.
Semenya, the 800-metre World and Olympic champion, has the fastest global times this year over 800 and 1,000 and holds the South African record in the 400, 800, 1,000, and 1,500 metres. The African championships are the first major international meet where she has run the 400m.
Semenya could be stopped from competing from 400m up to the mile after the IAAF introduced new rules barring women with high levels of naturally occurring testosterone from those events unless they reduce their levels.
She has said that she will challenge the regulations at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Semenya said yesterday that she planned to compete at three more Olympics, and "we're going to continue to focus on the 400 metres, 800 metres, and 1,500 metres."
She is also due to defend her 800-metre title at the African championships.