Pretoria [South Africa], April 15 (ANI): South Africa's middle-distance runner Caster Semenya recorded a personal best timing in winning the women's 5,000m at the South African Athletics Championships on Thursday but she nearly missed the Tokyo Olympics spot.
Reigning Olympics gold medalist in the 800m, Semenya took 15:52.28 to complete the race while the qualifying mark for the upcoming quadrennial Games is 15:10:00.
In the Athletics Gauteng North (AGN) Championships last week, she finished second with the timing of 16:14.43.
Glenrose Xaba won that race while she finished second in the SA championships. Both Xaba and Semenya run for Athletics Gauteng North. Kyla Jacobs of Western Province Athletics finished third.
Semenya has a rare genetic condition that significantly elevated her testosterone levels and her testosterone levels were far above the standard female range.
In May 2019, a World Athletics eligibility ruling came into effect which prevents female athletes with differing sex characteristics from competing in events from 400m to one mile (1600m), unless they reduce their testosterone levels.
Semenya has appealed to the European Court of Human Rights. The three-time 800m world champion has yet to officially announce whether she will focus on the 200m or 5000m in order to secure a spot for the Olympics in Japan. (ANI)