In a post to Instagram on Friday, two-time Olympic 800m champion runner Caster Semenya broke the news that she would be aiming to compete at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, if indeed the Olympics go forward in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
While she is unable to defend her title in the 800m in which she won gold in both 2012 and 2016, Semenya is training to take on the faster-paced 200m sprint.
“My dream has always been, and will continue to be, to compete at the highest level of sport and so in order to pursue my goals and dreams I have decided to change events and compete in the 200m,” said Semenya on Instagram.
Semenya is currently launching a second appeal against World Athletics (previously IAAF) after their decision to ban her from middle distance 800m competition unless she takes testosterone suppressing medication, and she is still unable to compete in the 800m while the appeal is pending. World Athletic’s controversial mandate appeared to target Semenya specifically, and has raised ethical questions from LGBTQI rights groups around the world in the wake of their botched track record of mandating intersex women undergo medical treatments and surgeries to qualify for international competition.
Annet Negesa, a world-class runner and intersex woman from Uganda, recently saw her career cut short by a World Athletics injunction that ordered her to undergo an irreversible surgery to lower her natural testosterone levels, but which left her with debilitating after-effects and unable to compete.
After the World Athletics injunction, Semenya announced she would pursue a career in soccer in South Africa. Her return to track and her goal to qualify for the Olympic 200m race is an exciting move for fans of the runner everywhere. In February, Semenya competed in her first track competition since June 2019, setting a national South African record in 300m with a time of 36.78 seconds and showing great potential for her transition from middle to short distance running.