Tokyo 2020 - South Africa's Caster Semenya open to 5000m qualification bid for Olympics
The two-time Olympic 800m champion cannot defend her title in Tokyo, after World Athletics ruled that she would have to take testosterone-reducing medication in order to take part in distances between 400m to a mile. Semenya is not willing to do that, and retained her South African Athletics Championships 5000m title - though it was well outside of the qualifying time.
Caster Semenya retained her South African 5000m title and may try and qualify for the Olympics over the distance
South Africa's Caster Semenya says she would be willing to try and qualify for the 5000m at the Tokyo Olympics but will not take part in sprint events.
The double Olympic 800-metres champion cannot compete over her favoured distance having refused to abide by a World Athletics ruling that athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) competing in races ranging from 400 metres to a mile must reduce their naturally high levels of testosterone.
She has taken that fight to the European Court of Human Rights but it seems unlikely that there will be an outcome before the July 23-Aug 8 Olympics.
"We had to look into whether can we do 200 (metres) for the next five years. It was not really in our favour," Semenya told reporters.
I’m getting old‚ I’m scared to tear my muscles. We had to sit down and make sure that the decision that we make makes sense. Distance makes sense.
Semenya won the 5,000-metres final in Pretoria in 15:52.28, well outside the Olympic automatic qualification mark of 15:10.00, though it was at altitude which adds considerably to the time.
"We’re happy with what we’re doing‚ we’re having fun. At training each and every day we don’t stress‚" she said, adding she hoped to compete in Europe this summer, but also in a sea level event in South Africa that could help her qualify.
Now is all about having fun. We’ve achieved everything that we wanted‚ all the major titles‚ inspiring the youth.
"Maybe if the guys from Durban can do something there somewhere in May. Maybe we try to go and attempt the time. It’s never too late.
"But if not‚ it’s not the end of the world. For me it’s not about being at the Olympics‚ it’s being healthy and running good times and being in the field for the longest."