Semenya follows CAS appeal with record 800 win in Paris
PARIS (AP) — Caster Semenya followed her decision to fight the IAAF’s rules over testosterone levels in female athletes by winning the 800 meters in imperious form at the Paris Diamond League on Saturday.
Semenya looked to be threatened in the race by Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi but she pulled away from 300 meters out to win comfortably in 1 minute, 54.25 seconds.
That was a Diamond League record, South Africa record, meeting record, personal best, and the world’s best time this year.
The IAAF has ruled female runners too high in natural testosterone can’t race in track events from the 400 to the mile unless they take medication. It comes into effect in November, but Semenya has challenged the rule at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The IAAF agreed this week to abide by the CAS decision, and president Sebastian Coe denied they were targeting Semenya, the two-time Olympic and three-time world champion.
Also, Abderrahman Samba of Qatar became only the second person to go under 47 seconds in the 400 hurdles when he clocked 46.98.
He joined Kevin Young, who timed 46.78 at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Samba earned his fifth win in this year’s league by topping a brilliant field including world champion Karsten Warholm (third), Olympic champion Kerron Clement (fifth), and Commonwealth Games winner Kyron McMaster (second).
Former world high jump champion Mariya Lasitskene won her 43rd consecutive competition with a height of 2.05 meters.
World champion Sam Kendricks won a thrilling pole vault competition with a world-leading 5.96 from 18-year-old Mondo Duplantis and world record-holder Renaud Lavillenie, both winners in the league this year.
Ronnie Baker of the U.S. won the men’s 100 in 9.88, heading off European record-holder Jimmy Vicaut and Su Bingtian of China, whose 9.91 was an Asia record.
Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain won her third 400 of this league in a personal-best 49.55, shading Jessica Beard and world champion Phyllis Francis.
Ronald Levy and Hansie Parchment led a Jamaica 1-2 in the 110 hurdles after 2015 world champion Sergey Shubenkov was disqualified.
Sandra Perkovic of Croatia and Fedrick Dacres of Jamaica each won the discus by more than two meters.
Other winners included Olympic champion Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia in women’s triple jump, Shericka Jackson of Jamaica in the women’s 200, Timothy Cheruiyot of Kenya in the men’s 1,500, and Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya in the women’s 3,000 steeplechase.