Sun, May 06, 2018 - Page 11 News List

Semenya ignores controversy, breaks own national record

Reuters

Caster Semenya on Friday put aside the controversy over a planned rule change in athletics regarding hyperandrogenism to win the women’s 1,500m and break her own South African record time at the Diamond League meeting in Doha.

Semenya won in a world-leading time of 3 minutes, 59.92 seconds ahead of Nelly Jepkosgei of Kenya and Habitam Alemu of Ethiopia. She set a national and Commonwealth Games record of 4 minutes, 0.71 seconds in winning the gold medal last month.

The South African has been in the spotlight after the sport’s governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), approved an eligibility rule to limit the advantage of female athletes who have naturally higher-than-normal levels of testosterone.

The IAAF last week confirmed the new rules, starting from Nov. 1, which effectively give Semenya a choice of taking medication to restrict her testosterone or move to longer distance events.

The double Olympic and three-time world 800m champion did not let the controversy affect her performance on a dominant evening for Africans in the middle-distance events as Kenya swept the podium in the men’s 800m.

Emmanuel Korir blasted away from his compatriots on the final strait to win in a time of 1 minute, 45.21 seconds. Elijah Manangoi finished second, with Nicholas Kipkoech in third.

There was a tight finish in the women’s 3,000m as Kenya again ruled the track. Caroline Kipkirui finished four-tenths of a second ahead of compatriot Agnes Tirop after a tense final lap in the evening heat, with Hyvin Kiyeng coming third.

Commonwealth Games 400m champion Isaac Makwala failed to reproduce his Gold Coast form as he finished third in a race won by Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas in a national record of 43.87 seconds, with Qatar’s Abdalleleh Haroun coming home second.

Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Ivory Coast won the women’s 100m in a personal best of 10.85 seconds, beating 2016 Olympic champion Elaine Thompson of Jamaica in third, with Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor finishing second.

American 20-year-old Noah Lyles won the men’s 200m in a meeting record of 19.83 seconds, with world champion Ramil Guliyev of Turkey finishing third.

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