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Caster wins gold, SA reach 10 medals

2016-08-21 09:00
Caster Semenya wins gold at Rio 2016 (Getty)

Sao Paulo - Caster Semenya celebrated with her trademark 'cobra' pose and then did a little dance as she won gold in the women's 800m at the Olympic Stadium in Rio on Saturday night (Sunday morning, SA time). 

It is Team South Africa's second gold medal of the Games following Wayde van Niekerk's world record run in the men's 400m, and it takes the country's total medal tally to 10. 

Semenya had stayed close to the field for most of the race but, in now familiar fashion, she put her foot on the gas in the final 200m as she moved into a comfortable lead. 

Semenya, the centre of a debate surrounding testosterone levels in female athletes after a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision taken in July 2015 that put a stop to testosterone regulation in female athletes, had said before the race that she was not interested in breaking Jarmila Kratochvílová's world record of 1:53.28 set in 1983. 

There were many who thought that setting a new global standard would be Semenya's aim, but she eased off in the final metres and finished in 1:55.28 - her new personal best as well as a new national record. 

Burundi's Francine Niyonsaba was second in 1:56.49 while Kenya's Margaret Wambui claimed bronze in 1:57.52. 

Attention then turned to the men's 5 000m. 

South Africa's Elroy Gelant was well placed for much of the race, but faded in the last two laps to finish 11th. 

The gold medal went to Mo Farah.

Lloyd Burnard is Sport24's correspondent in Brazil for the duration of the 2016 Olympics ...

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