Burundi's Francine Niyonsaba, who changed events due to testosterone rule, runs Olympic qualifier

She ran a time of 14 minutes 54.38, which is also a new national record, as she finished fourth in the race to easily better the Olympic qualifying time of 15:10.00.

It was just her second race over the distance having just missed out on the qualifying standard when she ran 15:12.08 at a meeting in Spain last month.

"A challenge is not a barrier. It's an opportunity to do better. Heading to Tokyo with a great qualifying time," she posted on Twitter.

The race was won by Kenya's Beatrice Chebet, who finished just over two seconds ahead of Niyonsaba.

The 28-year-old, who won silver over 800m at the 2016 Games in Rio, has decided to move up to the long distance event rather than taking testosterone-reducing drugs.

Under the latest World Athletics regulations Niyonsaba is classified as having 'Differences of Sexual Development' - or 'DSD' - and so is not allowed to compete in events between 400m and a mile without taking testosterone-reducing drugs.

At the same meeting on the outskirts of Paris Burkina Faso's Hugues Fabrice Zango continued his good form with another win on the triple jump with a leap of 17.67 metres.

Ivory Coast's Marie Josee Ta Lou won the women's 100m in a time of 11.06 seconds just ahead of The Gambia's Gina Bass in 11.30.

Ta Lou's compatriot Arthur Cisse was victorious in the men's event clocking a time of 10.11 seconds.

Kenya's Abel Kipsang was the other African winner on the night in the men's 1500m as he finished ahead of compatriot Charles Simotwo, with Morocco's Brahim Kaazouzi in third place.

On Friday South Africa's Caster Semenya, Niyonsaba's great rival over 800m and another athlete classified as DSD, finished outside the qualifying mark for the 5,000m.

The 30-year-old finished in 15 minutes 32.15 seconds at meeting in Durban - 22.15secs outside the qualifying time.

It was her second bid to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

posted Wednesday June 2nd
by Sport Africa