Double Olympic 800 meters champion Caster Semenya has yet to post an Olympic qualifying time for this year’s Tokyo Games.
Last Friday, Semenya competed in the 5000m at a meeting in Durban, specially arranged to give her the opportunity to qualify. While faster than the 15:52.28 she posted in winning the South African 5000m title in Pretoria in April, her time of 15:32.15 on Friday fell well outside the qualifying mark of 15:10.00, which would have earned her a bid to the Games.
The 30-year-old South African is currently banned from competing in any race from 400m to a mile. In 2018, the sport’s governing body World Athletics ruled that women with high natural testosterone levels must take medication to reduce them in order to “ensure fair competition” in middle-distance races.
Semenya refuses to take medication to alter her testosterone levels and has instead chosen to focus on the longer distance events.
Semenya continues to challenge the ruling and has taken her case to the European Court of Human Rights. However, it’s likely the case will not be completed by the time the Games begin on July 23.