Never in doubt! Caster Semenya is world champ a 3rd time

South Africa's Caster Semenya celebrates victory in the women's 800m final at the Olympic Stadium
Credit
Mike Egerton PA

South Africa's Caster Semenya celebrates victory in the women's 800m final at the Olympic Stadium Credit Mike Egerton PA

South Africa's Caster Semenya advanced easily to the semi-finals of the 800m after winning her first round heat at the IAAF World Championships on Thursday.

Burundi's Francine Niyonsaba, the Olympic silver medallist, finished second in 1:55.92, with American Ajee Wilson taking bronze (1:56.65).

Semenya won 2017 final in a time of 1:55.17.

The South African, who had already taken a bronze medal in the 1500-meters, did not find things easy but proved far too strong down the back straight and became the eighth fastest woman in history with her new national record.

There was no doubt that Semenya was an enormous favorite heading into this final, and that was undoubtedly justified as she proved too strong for both Niyonsaba and Wilson in the final 100m.

Semenya, 26, is the 2016 Olympic and 2009 world champion and is poised to gain two more golds after Russian doper Mariya Savinova-Farnosova was stripped of her 2012 Olympic and 2011 world titles.

"I just love you guys, it feels like home in London", said Semenya.

Her victory will again raise the issue of hyperandrogenism and the perceived advantage of her raised natural levels of testosterone, though she said this week she was sick of talking about it.

Semenya's win came after British journalist Katie Hopkins questioned her gender in the days leading up to the race - suggesting that it was unfair that Semenya competed in women's athletics because of questions around her gender. The crowd was super-awesome and super-special tonight.

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