Commonwealth Games

Semenya defiant after sweeping to Commonwealth double

2018-04-13 21:53
Caster Semenya
Caster Semenya (AP)

Gold Coast - South Africa's Caster Semenya shrugged off controversy over her right to compete after completing a Commonwealth Games double with victory in the women's 800 metres on Friday.

The 27-year-old, who identifies as a woman but has elevated testosterone levels, dedicated her gold medal to the late Winnie Mandela after her crushing win.

Elsewhere on the Gold Coast, English tabloid darling Tom Daley captured diving gold before weighing in on gay rights, while 15-year-old shooter Anish Bhanwala became India's youngest ever Commonwealth champion.

At the athletics, England's Katarina Johnson-Thompson won heptathlon gold, but New Zealand's Valerie Adams failed to take a fourth straight shot put crown, the mighty Kiwi settling for silver.

Semenya, who won the 1 500m title earlier this week, smashed her rivals once again to clock a Games record of one minute, 56.68 seconds.

After the race, she revealed how anti-apartheid hero Mandela, who died two weeks ago after a long illness, had helped her through adversity.

"She was a friend and always told me to be myself, to love myself - don't listen to the noise, don't entertain nonsense," said Semenya. "To just go out and show the world what I can do."

Semenya left Kenya's Margaret Nyairera Wambui for dead coming off the final bend to win with plenty to spare as Jamaica's Natoya Goule took bronze.

However, questions persist over whether Semenya should be allowed to compete because of her hyperandrogenism, which some feel gives her an unfair advantage.

"I understand how to handle emotions, how to handle negativity and turn it into positivity," said the world champion.

"I've had to learn how to manage it myself, how to face the world. It's not about what other people think of me, it's about how I think of myself."

Johnson-Thompson secured the second leg of what she hopes will be a golden treble.

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