Semenya Wins 5,000m Race, But Falls Short Of Tokyo Olympics Qualifying Time

Semenya Wins 5,000m Race, But Falls Short Of Tokyo Olympics Qualifying Time

Double Olympic 800 metres champion Caster Semenya moved closer to qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Games in a new event after defending her South African championships 5,000m title in Pretoria, on Thursday. 

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Semenya trimmed nearly 15 seconds off her personal best by crossing the line in 15 minutes 52.28 sec — 42.28 sec outside the Tokyo qualifying time of 15:10.

The race was staged at an altitude of 1,339 m (4,393 feet) and Semenya is considering running the same distance at sea level, where the air is less thin and times generally faster.

“If the guys in Durban (sea-level city) do something in May, I might run,” Semenya said after her victory.

The qualifying deadline for Tokyo is June 29 with the Games scheduled from July 23 to August 8.

Semenya cannot defend the 800m title in Japan as she refuses to abide by World Athletics’ testosterone-reducing regulations covering distances from 400m to the mile.

South African is among a minority of female athletes who have an unusually high level of testosterone, which gives them added strength.

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Two legal bids by the South African to overturn the ban have failed and she has taken her fight to the European Court of Human Rights, who have not indicated when the case will be heard

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