Caster Semenya vs IAAF: Wayde van Niekerk backs compatriot, says her battle 'goes beyond track and field'

Wayde van Niekerk has backed Caster Semenya in her battle with the IAAF over female eligibility rules, saying that 'it goes beyond track and field'.

Agence France-Presse April 26, 2019 23:32:19 IST
Caster Semenya vs IAAF: Wayde van Niekerk backs compatriot, says her battle 'goes beyond track and field'
  • Wayde van Niekerk has backed Caster Semenya in her battle with the IAAF over female eligibility rules, saying that 'it goes beyond track and field'.

  • The Olympic 400-metre champion told reporters on the sidelines of the South African championships that Semenya 'is fighting for something' far greater.

  • Semenya will learn her fate next week after legally challenging proposed changes to the IAAF's female eligibility rules.

Johannesburg: Wayde van Niekerk has backed fellow Olympic gold medallist Caster Semenya in her battle with the IAAF over female eligibility rules, saying on Friday that "it goes beyond track and field".

The Olympic 400-metre champion told reporters on the sidelines of the South African championships near Johannesburg that Semenya "is fighting for something" far greater.

Caster Semenya vs IAAF Wayde van Niekerk backs compatriot says her battle goes beyond track and field

Wayde van Niekerk (L) has backed Caster Semenya (C) in her battle against the IAAF. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

"Caster is fighting for something beyond just track and field athletics — she is fighting for women in sports, in society and I respect her for that.

"I support the hard work and talent she has put into the sport," said Van Niekerk, who withdrew from the meet, fearing cold, wet conditions could threaten his recovery from a knee injury.

"With what she believes in and what she is dreaming of, I have got a lot of respect for her. I hope and pray that everything just goes from strength to strength for her."

Semenya, who has refused to discuss the battle with the world governing body, will learn her fate next week after legally challenging proposed changes to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) female eligibility rules.

The global body wants female athletes with "differences of sexual development" (DSD) to keep testosterone levels below a prescribed level for races between 400m and one mile.

The Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has said it will deliver judgment in the case by the end of April.

Should the IAAF win, Olympic 800m champion Semenya would be barred from competing in the distance where she excels.

Semenya has skipped the 800m event at the South African championships in what a source close to her said "might be a silent protest against the IAAF".

Instead, she comfortably won the 5,000m title on Thursday and is scheduled to compete in the 1,500m final later on Friday.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Indian athletics chief coach Bahadur Singh steps down from role after 25-year stint
Sports

Indian athletics chief coach Bahadur Singh steps down from role after 25-year stint

Singh, who ended his coaching career as one of India's longest-serving head coaches, took up the post in February 1995.

Netflix's Athlete A is a compelling true-crime documentary and also an ode to investigative journalism
Entertainment

Netflix's Athlete A is a compelling true-crime documentary and also an ode to investigative journalism

Originally intended to premiere at Tribeca Film Festival, Athlete A, one of the several films to become a casualty of a global pandemic, sacrificed a potential festival run for a direct Netflix release.

World Athletics chief Sebastian Coe says having women in all governance structures a key element in global body's reforms
Sports

World Athletics chief Sebastian Coe says having women in all governance structures a key element in global body's reforms

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe says a key element of his organisation's reforms has been to recognise the importance of having women in all governance structures.