South African female track athlete Caster Semenya will be making her return to the global stage at Tokyo 2020 with the 200m gold medal in her sights.
The middle-distance runner has decided to compete in the 200m race after Swiss Federal Supreme Court turned down her appeal after banning her from participating in any event from 400m unless she took testosterone-reducing drugs.
This came after the IAAF introduced the “difference of sex development” (DSD) rule which meant that female athlete with testosterone levels higher of 5nmol/L and higher would be forced to take testosterone reducing drugs.
This meant that the South African athlete was unable to defend her 800m title at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha.
In order to be able to compete in the Olympics again, Caster Semenya has had to change events to the 200m.
In February 2020, the two-time Olympic gold medal winner competed in the 300m race in Johannesburg where she came first, breaking the national record at the same time.
Should she wish to fulfil her goal of competing in the Tokyo 2020 200m event and winning gold, she will have to run a qualifying time of 22.80 seconds. Her current best time to date is 24.26 seconds but Caster Semenya is more than confident that she will be able to rise up to the challenge as she posted the following message on her Instagram:
“My dream has always been, and will continue to be, to compete at the highest level of sport and so in order to pursue my goals and dreams I have decided to change events and compete in the 200m,”
“This decision has not been an easy one but as always I look forward to the challenge and will work hard, doing all I can to qualify for Tokyo and compete to the best of my ability for South Africa.”
“Thank you to my team who have supported me over the past few months and thank you to all South Africans who believe in me and stand behind me.”