Semenya favourite to take Olympic 800m title

Controversy though is brewing around Caster Semenya's participation at the Olympic Games.

FILE: South Africa Caster Semenya wins the 800m final at the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) Championships held in Durban, on June 26, 2016. Picture: AFP.

RIO DE JANEIRO - South Africa's Caster Semenya starts her 800m campaign later today in her bid to win Olympic gold and starts as the big favourite in the event.

But it's off the track where controversy is brewing around her participation, with many calling it into question.

While the heat action at the Olympic Stadium is usually a rather low-key affair, that will change significantly today when South Africa's Caster Semenya takes to the track in her 800m event.

Her participation at the Games in Rio has become one of the most talked about aspects of the Games despite the fact that she hasn't stepped on the track yet.

She's expected to comfortably win the 800m with the world record seemingly in jeopardy too but it's her condition of hyperandrogynism that is fuelling the world's media and will have her under the miscroscope.

As a result, it's understood that she will do no media interviews until possibly only after the final on Saturday while a security detail is expected to accompany her throughout.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula has already encouraged South Africans to get behind her in support with a 'Hands off Caster' hashtag on social media.

She runs today at 4.02pm South African time, with the semi-finals on Thursday.