South African Olympian Caster Semenya has announced that she will now set her sights on competing in the 200m as she targets the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Under the rules set by World Athletics, the double Olympic 800m champion is not permitted to compete in events from 400m to the mile without taking testosterone-reducing medication.
Semenya’s decision to switch down from her specialist 800m distance to the 200m did not come lightly. The defending Olympic Champion has since been appealing against regulations forcing her and other female athletes with naturally high levels of testosterone to lower them to be eligible to compete.
The 29-year-old made her intentions to switch events clear by stating in an Instagram post: “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.
“This decision has not been an easy one, but as always, I look forward to the challenge and will work hard doing all I can to qualify for Tokyo and compete to the best of my ability for South Africa.”
On Friday, Semenya ran an unratified time of 23.49 over the 200m with no wind reading though she has an official personal best of 24.26 set in February.
Semenya will need to run the Olympic qualifying standard of 22.80 or faster in order to compete at the Olympic Games over this distance.
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