Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Caster Semenya arrives home in South Africa to a heroine's welcome

Semenya is not accused of trying to cheat, but of perhaps unknowingly having a medical condition that blurs her gender and gives her an unfair advantage over other female runners.

SHOOT: I can't help thinking this reminds me of the Libyan guy arriving to a heroes welcome. In boh cases it appears the cheers fans might be misguided.

DailyMail.co.uk: Semenya's proud mother Dorcus has always maintained her daughter is female. 'I know who and what my child is. Caster is all girl, and no one can change that,' she said.
Enlarge Caster Mokgadi Semenya 's birth certificate on which it states she is female

Caster Mokgadi Semenya 's birth certificate on which it states she is female

However, Caster's former headmaster, Eric Mobida, said she was about 15 before he realised she was a girl.

'She was always rough and played with the boys,' he said. 'She liked soccer and she wore pants to school, never a dress. It was only in grade 11 that I realised she's a girl.'

Caster's grandmother, Maphuthi Sekgala, said the athlete had been teased about her masculine appearance since the day she joined the village soccer team as the only girl.

clipped from www.dailymail.co.uk
South Africa's teenage 800 metres world champion Caster Semenya gestures to her fans at the O.R Tambo international airport in Johannesburg
Caster has fun with the crowd after thousands arrived to welcome her home
Fans battled to find a good vantage point from which to wave their South African flags and cheer Caster home
Caster is heralded as 'First Lady of Sport'
Thousands of supporters packed the airport to welcome their hero home
Caster is hugged by family members as she greets thousands of supporters after arriving to a hero's welcome in Johannesburg today
Caster Mokgadi Semenya 's birth certificate on which it states she is female
Over 1,000 fans sang and danced in support of Caster Semenya, the controversial runner who is undergoing gender testing, on her triumphant return to South Africa.

Semenya arrived with other members of the South African team after her 800-meter win at the world championships in Berlin.

Fans organised by women's rights and political groups, school sports teams and delighted individuals ringed the balcony overlooking the arrivals hall blowing plastic horns known as vuvuzelas and dancing in celebration.
A source close to the runner confirmed that tests carried out before the start of the World
Championships indicated she had three times the normal female level of testosterone in her body.
The tests were carried out after questions arose about her muscular build and deep voice.
South Africans have not let the controversial tests get in the way of her achievement however.
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