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Caster looks the coolest woman in Rio

2016-08-19 08:31
Caster Semenya (Getty)

Rip de Janeiro - Caster Semenya cruised into the finals of the women's 800m on Thursday night (Friday morning, SA time) as the focus on her intensified at the Rio Olympics. 

There were significantly more journalists waiting for her in the press area compared to the subdued aftermath of Wednesday's heats, but again Semenya breezed through without facing any questions. 

There was the occasional wave and wink from the London 2012 silver medallist, and all in all Semenya looked like the most relaxed person inside the Olympic Stadium. 

SASCOC are providing journalists with a Semenya sound-bite after each of her races, but if she medals on Saturday night (Sunday morning, SA time) then she will have to face up to the world's media in a press conference. 

The debate surrounding testosterone levels in female athletes, after IAAF president Sebastian Coe last week questioned the merits of a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision taken in July 2015 that put a stop to testosterone regulation in female athletes, continues with Semenya at its centre.

But the 25-year-old looks and sounds like she is not letting any of that affect her push for gold.

"I'm not focused on people, I'm focused on my race. At the end of the day this is a championship, it's not about people it's all about you. It's you up against the world," she said.

She is now turning her attention to Saturday's final and she remains adamant that she is not going after Jarmila Kratochvílová's world record time of 1:53.28 that the Czechoslovakian set in 1983. 

"There are no strategies. I'll just go with the flow and see how I feel in the race. The pace was a little bit quicker (in the semi) ... I wasn't expecting that quick pace," she said.

"It was okay. The main thing was obviously just t get through to the final ... so it's one step down and another to go.

"I'm quite happy with the performance and I'm looking forward to the final. I just have to go back and look at my videos of the heats and the semi so I can run a good race in the final."

Lloyd Burnard is Sport24's correspondent in Rio de Janeiro for the duration of the 2016 Olympics ...

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