Caster Semenya wins comeback race in Finland

Friday, July 16, 2010

LAPPEENRANTA - South African 800 metres world champion Caster Semenya has won her first race since being cleared to return to competition after underdoing gender tests.

Semenya won the 800 meters in a modest time of two minutes, 04.22 seconds on Thursday at the Lappeenranta Games in Finland.

It may have been nearly nine seconds slower than her triumph at the World Championships in Berlin last summer, but having hardly trained in recent months, it was at the upper end of her and her coach’s expectations.

“The performance was pretty good because after sitting at home for 11 months, to come back and run 2.04 is not easy, especially after what happened to me. So, yes, I’m pretty happy with it,” The Telegraph quoted Semenya, as saying.

“I wasn’t expecting to run 2.04, though my coach told me were going for 2.03 or 2.04. It’s good. Even in South Africa, I used to run 2.03 or 2.04, so it’s a good start,” she added.

The 19-year-old was authorized to resume competing on July 6 after a review of gender-verification tests by global governing body the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

She is due to race in two or three further events in Europe before deciding whether to compete at the New Delhi Commonwealth Games in October. (ANI)

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