Caster Semenya’s golden upgrades for the 2012 London Olympics and 2011 world championships have scored her two unique spots in South African sports history. Semenya‚ – the 2016 Rio Games 800m champion‚ finished second in the 800m behind Maria Savinova at the 2011 championships in Daegu‚ South Korea‚ and the Olympics the following year.
But after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland recently dismissed the Russian’s appeal against her disqualification for doping‚ the middle-distance star has officially been awarded the gold medals, which means Semenya becomes the first South African to win golds at two consecutive Olympics‚ and she swipes Wayde van Niekerk off the mantle as South Africa’s first reigning world champion to win an Olympic title.
Before Semenya, no South African has won consecutive Olympic golds. In Brazil‚ Cameron van der Burgh and Chad Le Clos both failed to secure their second gold medals. Van der Burgh was pushed down one notch to silver in the 100m breaststroke and Le Clos‚ although winning two silvers to become SA’s most decorated Olympian with four career wins‚ ended fourth in the 200m butterfly event he had won four years earlier. Semenya has edged her name in stone and we may see many more awards to come from the South African star.