Caster Semenya missed out on qualifying for Saturday’s 5000m final at the world championships in her first appearance at the competition since 2017.
The South African finished 13th out of 16 runners in her heat in a time of 15:46.12; almost a minute off Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay who came first (14:52.27). Semenya's time was 45 seconds off qualifying for the final.
Despite her effort, the two-time Olympic champion and three-time 800m world champion was in positive spirits afterwards.
Tokyo 2020
Semenya fails to make Olympic qualifying mark in 5,000m
01/07/2021 AT 10:04
“I’m cooking,” she told reporters. “It was hot and I could not keep up with the pace.
“I think it is great to be able to run here. Just being able to finish the 5km, for me it is a blessing. I am learning and I am willing to learn even more.”
Semenya is banned from running in events from 400m to a mile unless she takes medication to reduce her testosterone levels.


Great Britain's Eilish McColgan and Jessica Judd progressed to the 5000m final. McColgan ran a season best time of 14:56.47 to advance, while Judd finished in 14:57.64. Amy-Eloise Markovc failed to qualify despite recording a season-best time of 15:31.62.
Aimee Pratt broke her national record when she finished seventh in the women’s 3000m final in 9:15.64. The race was won by Norah Kipruto.
Matthew Hudson-Smith qualified second fastest for the men’s 400m despite experiencing stomach problems on the home straight, finishing in a time of 44.38 just behind USA’s Michael Norman (44.30). Alex Haydock-Wilson missed out despite running a personal best time of 45.08.
Max Burgin, who ran the fastest 800m time in the world (1:43.52) in Finland last month, pulled out before Wednesday’s heats due to injury.


The two gold medals for the day were won by Kazakhstan’s Norah Jeruto in the steeplechase and China’s Feng Bin in the discus.
Jeruto set a World Championships record of 8:53.02 in the 3000m steeplechase, which was also the third-fastest time in history. Ethiopian Werkuha Getachew took silver and compatriot Mekides Abebe the bronze.
Feng, who came 17th at Tokyo, took gold with a personal best 69.12m. Croatia's Sandra Perkovic finished in second and American Olympic champion Valarie Allman came third.
USA's Fred Kerley - winner of the 100m on Saturday - withdrew from the 4x100m because of injury.
In the 400m hurdles, champion Dalilah Muhammad ran a season-best time of 53.28 to win her heat to progress to the semi-finals. Olympic champion Sydney McLaughlin qualified fastest, winning heat three in 52.17. Britain's Jessie Knight, who recorded a time of 55.39, failed to qualify.
In the 400m flat, Great Britain's Victoria Ohuruogu went out despite a personal best of 50.99. Team-mates Nicole Yeargin and Ama Pipi also failed to progress.
Two-time Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo finished top of the standings thanks to a season best time of 49.55.
- - -
The Olympic Games will return with Paris 2024, live on Eurosport and discovery+.
Tokyo 2020
Semenya open to 5000m qualification bid for Tokyo Olympics
15/04/2021 AT 14:55
Tokyo 2020
Semenya to take fight to European Court of Human Rights
17/11/2020 AT 12:05