Caster Semenya put aside the controversy over a planned rule change in athletics regarding hyperandrogenism to win the women’s 1,500 metres and break her own South African record time at the Diamond League meeting in Doha on Friday.
Semenya won in a world leading time of three minutes and 59.92 seconds ahead of Nelly Jepkosgei of Kenya and Habitam Alemu of Ethiopia. She set a national and Commonwealth Games record of 4:00.71 in winning the gold medal last month.
The South African has been in the spotlight after the sport’s governing IAAF approved an eligibility rule to limit the advantage of female athletes who, like Semenya, have naturally higher than normal levels of testosterone.
The International Association of Athletics Federations last week confirmed new rules, starting from Nov. 1, which effectively give Semenya a choice of taking medication to restrict her testosterone or move to longer distance events.
South Africa’s athletics association said on Thursday that it will challenge the IAAF’s new rules, which it said it found to be skewed.
The double Olympic and triple world 800 metres champion did not let the controversy affect her performance on a dominant evening for Africans in the middle distance events as Kenya swept the podium in the men’s 800m.