Semenya Reconfiguration? From Running Track to Football Pitch! Perhaps taking a cue from the league of greatness, 2-time 800 Olympic gold medallist and World Champion Caster Semenya has followed in the great footsteps of fellow athlete and sprint icon 8-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt by trading running shoes for football boots.
Semenya is in the eye of a storm from International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) who have banned and barred her from participating in the world championships after her refusal to take testosterone suppressing medication as per the IAAF guidelines.
Currently banned from competing in her preferred event, the two-time Olympic 800-metre champion is considering taking up football whilst contesting her athletics participation.
“Being a footballer doesn’t mean I’m no longer a track and field athlete.Just means I can’t be stopped at anything” said Semenya on Twitter.
In the same Twitter post, Semenya explained that she had joined Johannesburg-based women’s club JVW FC, a club owned by South Africa national women’s team captain Janine van Wyk.
Semenya has been training with the SAFA Sasol League team but she won’t be registered to play league games until 2020 as the transfer window for the current season has closed.
“I am grateful for this opportunity and I appreciate the love and support I already get from the team. I am looking forward to this new journey, and hopefully I can contribute as much as I can to the club.” the 28-year-old Semenya said.
Unlike track, top-level soccer doesn’t have any regulations forcing female players to lower naturally high testosterone levels.
South Africa is bidding to host the next Women’s World Cup in 2023 and Semenya can be become part of a rare breed of athletes to line up on the global stage in 2 different sporting disciplines.
By Gerald Dandah