Caster Semenya (born 7 January 1991 in Pietersburg) is a South African middle-distance runner.
Semenya participated in the 2008 World Junior Championships, but did not advance past the 800 metres heats. Later that year, she won gold in the 800 m at the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games with a time of 2:04.23 in the final.
Semenya won the 800 m and 1500 m at the 2009 African Junior Championships with times of 1:56.72 and 4:08.01 respectively. The 800 m time was the fastest in 2009 when it was set. It was also a national record, championship record, and she bettered a previous personal best (2:00.58) by almost four seconds. The previous South African record, 1:58.85, was held by Zelda Pretorius and she also beat Zola Budd’s national Junior record (2:00.9) .
Semenya won gold in the 800 m at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics with a time of 1:55.45 in the final, a personal best and the fastest time in the world that year.
In August 2009, amid growing speculation, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) conducted a gender verification test in the weeks before the 800 m event at the World Championships. The results of the test have not yet been published. Semenya states she is unconcerned about the test and rumours.
Reaction in South Africa towards the IAAF's actions has been mainly negative, and a number of athletes, including Michael Johnson, have criticized the way that the governing body handled the situation. The head of Athletics South Africa and Caster's family have dismissed the speculation.
2. ^ African Athletics, 2 August 2009: Nigerian Ogoegbunam completes a hat trick at Africa Junior Championships
7. ^ a b "Caster Semenya faces sex test before she can claim victory". The Times. 19 August 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2009.