Semenya wins gold! Caster's Olympic glory
Caster Semenya ran a nation record time to win gold at the Rio 2016 games.
JOHANNESBURG - Caster Semenya has won Olympics gold at the Rio 2016 games.
Semenya secured Team SA's tenth medal at the games in a time of 1 minute 55.28 seconds.
She now holds the 800 Olympic and World Championship titles.
Semenya led for much of the first lap before dropping off into second place for much of the second lap, but then she showed the world why she's been the best 800 metre runner this year.
The Limpopo-born star surged ahead with less than 200 metres to go and continued to open a significant gap before crossing the line.
She had been heavily favoured to win gold in Rio, with commentators touting her "to do something special".
There was no world record this time, but her run was still something special.
On Friday, Semenya crossed the line in a time of 1:58.15 to qualify with the fastest time from the semi-final heats.
On Wednesday, she cruised to victory in her heat in a time of 1:59.31 to book her spot in the semi-finals but it's the intense media spotlight that she's under that's proving to be a major story in Rio.
There have been questions, mostly from the international media, about Semenya's physicality and her eligibility to compete in women's events at the Games.
Semenya's increased testosterone levels, which are generated naturally, have seen intense debate around gender within sport with some saying it is a distinct advantage over the other women.
Twitter users backed her with hashtags like #HandsOffCaster and #CasterForGold encouraging the athlete and lashing back at the criticism.
She won her opening 800m race of the Olympics in a time of 1:59.31.
WATCH: Juju: We are all Caster Semenya
FIVE CASTER SEMENYA FACTS
- Semenya's idol is a three-time 800 metre world champion Maria Mutola.
- She was on born Mokgadi Caster Semenya on 7 January 1991. She has three sisters and a brother and grew up in a village near Polokwane.
- Semenya was studying Sports Science at the University of Pretoria.
- Semenya is the South African champion in 400m, 800m and 1500m.
- Semenya was South Africa's flag bearer at the London Olympics in 2012, where she won a silver medal in the 800m.
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