Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Cast-Her Semenya - Who's fooling who ?

For sometime we all thought we had the 800m women's title(s) wrapped after last year's Olympic Games. Pamela Jelimo and Janeth Jepkosgei had won both gold and silver and I thought we finally had our own version of the Ethiopian legends. Wait till Caster Semenya happened on the scene...
Since her win she has managed to eclipse any other athlete even 'the Bolt' from Jamaica. What was easily one of the most exciting athletics meet in recent times has boiled down to what symbol Semenya represents...
What has incensed me though are two observations. First the IAAF has handled the whole affair badly and thanks to media which sniffs like rabid dogs, Semenya's goose was roasted once in the Finals of the 800 race. Where were they when Semenya won the junior championships last both at the World and Commonwealth championships?
Secondly while the South Africans were justified to feel angered by the treatment of one of their 3 heros from the World Athletics Championship, the whole scene having politicos shouting this and that made bad publicity and will only precipitate the situation.The ANC officials were the worst culprits drawing out the likes of Winnie Mandikizela out of the woodwork. With findings suggesting that Semenya has about 3 times the normal levels of testosterone, the saga will continue to elicit emotive actions.
It would border on insanity for anyone to even have thought of sneaking in anything like that if it's proven but for now let Semenya be. I'm sure we all know of the local tom-boy who may even more masculine than we know. What happened to liberal society ?

By the way, is the athlete by any chance a relation of the more famous musical brother Caiphus Semenya?

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