‘It’s like racing a man’, says Semenya’s Brit rival after Berlin raceAugust 23rd, 2010 - 5:30 pm ICT by ANI
London, Aug.23 (ANI): British woman athlete Diane Cummins, who finished eighth in yesterday’s 800m race at the ISTAF Athletics Meeting in Berlin, has stirred a controversy by saying that racing against South African rival Caster Semenya felt like running against a man.
Asked Cummins after the race: “Unfortunately for Caster, she’s grown up in an environment that is complicated not just for her but for human science. Basically, is she man? is she lady? What constitutes male, what constitutes female?
“Even if she is a female, she’s on the very fringe of the normal athlete female biological composition from what I understand of hormone testing. So most of us just feel that we are literally running against a man,” Cummins added.
“There are guys who can challenge Usain Bolt, but nobody can challenge Caster Semenya,” she said.
“She is four or five seconds better than any of us and that’s incredible,” Cummins added.
Cummins was speaking after Semenya won the 800-meter race.
Semenya recently returned to the sport after missing 11 months of competition while undergoing gender tests following her gold medal performance at the World Championships last year.
The 19-year-old was back to her best, surging ahead in the last 50 metres to cross the line win her third race since she was cleared to run again in July.
Another British athlete — Jemma Simpson - said: “It’s obviously a human rights issue but human rights affect everyone in the race, not just one person.”
Simpson finished fourth in the race, The Telegraph reports.
“No way is it a personal issue, but it’s a debate about what is right and fair for everyone. It’s a really tough subject and a lot of people are very careful about what they say. You have to be. You have to be diplomatic and keep your opinions to yourself, but sometimes it is so frustrating,” Simpson added.
Semenya was upbeat after the race despite all she has gone through since winning the World Championship title last year.
“I still feel the same, but it was not easy for a 19-year-old girl to go through what I’ve been through,” Semenya said after cruising home in 1:59.90. (ANI)
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- Caster Semenya Cleared to Compete After Gender Confirmed - Jul 07, 2010
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- Kenya's Jepkosgei eyes another Olympic medal in London - May 04, 2012
- Caster Semenya to take part in Commonwealth Games - Aug 23, 2010
- Semenya's gender tested unknown to her: mother - Sep 13, 2009
- Amputee Pistorius, Semenya to compete in World Athletics - Aug 08, 2011
Tags: 19 year old, 800m, bolt, brit, british athlete, british woman, caster, controversy, cummins, fringe, gold medal performance, human rights issue, human science, istaf, meeting in berlin, meter race, personal issue, woman athlete, world champions, world championships