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South African's Caster Semenya is scheduled to compete in the 3,000m at the Diamond League's Prefontaine Classic in Stanford, California on June 30. This is a distance she can race without reducing her testosterone levels, however it is not really her distance at least not at this point.
Semenya, who has won two Olympic gold medals over 800m, has made it very clear that she will not take medication to lower her testosterone levels to comply with the new IAAF rules.
This race will be her first since the new rules went into effect.
Under the new regulations, female athletes with high natural levels of testosterone wishing to compete in events from 400m to a mile must medically limit that level to under 5 nmol/L, double the normal female range of below 2 nmol/L.
Barring an appeal, Semenya can no longer compete in her specialist event after she lost her appeal against the new rules, stating that the regulations were necessary to ensure fair competition.
Semenya will be part of a world class field at the Prefontaine Classic that includes world 5,000-metres champion Hellen Obiri, 2016 world indoor 1,500-metres champion Sifan Hassan, and 2018 world indoor 1,500 and 3,000-metres champion Genzebe Dibaba.
“It was a request from Caster Semenya’s agent asking if she could run a 3,000,” meet director Tom Jordan told Reuters. “Of course we said yes.”
Semenya became South African national champion over 5,000m in April, but her time is way off the leading runners in the world over that distance.
Semenya has a personal best of 9:36 for 3,000m, the slowest in the field. Dibaba is the quickest in the field with a best of 8:16.
The South African’s last race over 800 meters was in the Diamond League in Doha on May 3, when she cruised to victory in 1:54.98, nearly three seconds ahead of Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba.
“I’m a crazy athlete, 800 meters is my calling, I believe in it, and that’s what I want to do,” she said after winning in Doha.
“I will switch races when I want to — no man can tell me what to do. I’m here for a purpose, if I want to switch events I switch them, but if someone wants me to switch them, that’s their own problem, not mine."
The Prefontaine Classic is being staged in Stanford, California this year while a new stadium is built in Eugene, Oregon for the 2021 world championships.(05/21/2019) ⚡AMP
Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field will be the venue for this year's 45th NIKE Prefontaine Classic/IAAF Diamond League meet on Sunday, June 30.With the ongoing construction of Hayward Field in advance of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2021 IAAF World Championships, an alternate site for America's flagship invitational meet was required. After an extensive search in...more...