DOHA, Qatar, May 3 – South Africa’s Caster Semenya powered her way to victory in the 800 metres at the first of 14 Diamond League meetings of the new international track and field season, in Doha, Qatar, on Friday.
The South African, who earlier this week was on the wrong end of a Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling over testosterone levels for women in sport, took line honours in 1 minute 54.98 seconds.
She was followed by Burundian Francine Niyonsaba (1:57.75) and American Ajee Wilson (1:58.83).
Benin’s Noelie Yarigo who did the early work up front in taking the field through the halfway mark in 56.66, before Semenya moved to the front to lead through 600m in 1:26.56.
The race was a landmark one for the Olympic champion over the two-lap distance in London (2012) and Rio de Janeiro (2016), as hereafter, the court ruling will force her to take medication to reduce her testosterone level if she wants to compete in international athletics.
Earlier, South African 400 metres hurdlers Wenda Nel and Reney van der Walt ended seventh and eighth respectively.
Nel, who was forced into second place by Van der Walt at the national championships in Germiston near Johannesburg last weekend, clocked 56.16 with the new SA senior champion one place further down in 56.45.
The win went to American Olympic champion and world championship silver medalist Dalilah Muhammad in 53.61.
The second leg of the Diamond League will take place in Shangai, China on May 18. (ANA)