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Photo: Ryan Babel

In August 2009, it damn near broke my heart to see all the controversy surrounding South Africa’s young track star, Caster Semenya.  People thought she looked like a man and shouldn’t be allowed to compete against women.  Bah!

A lot has happened in Caster’s world since 2009:

  • Semenya won gold in the women’s 800 metres at the 2009 World Championships with a time of 1:55.45.
  • Elisa Cusma of Italy, who placed sixth, told the press: “These kind of people should not run with us. For me, she’s not a woman. She’s a man.”
  • Semenya was forced to take a gender test following her success in the 2009 World Championships.
  • Semenya got a makeover, so she’d look more like everyone expected her to.
  • Semenya was withdrawn from international competition until 6 July 2010 when the IAAF cleared her to return to competition (as a woman).
  • In December 2009 Track and Field News voted Semenya the Number One Women’s 800 metre runner of the year.
  • In 2010, the New Statesman included Semenya in its list “The World’s 50 Most Influential Figures 2010” (take that, Elisa Cusma… bet you didn’t make the list, did you??)

And just this past week, Semenya won a silver medal in the 800 metre race at the 2011 World Championships.  She still runs like the wind.  Congratulations, Caster!

Ed.note:  Cusma did not compete.  Looks like her career is over. 

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