Friday, August 21, 2009

Caster Semenya tells doubters to "go to hell"

In an interview with South Africa's Beeld newspaper, Semenya's former headmaster said he didn't realize she was a girl because she wore pants instead of a skirt to school.

"She was always rough and played with the boys. She liked soccer and she wore pants to school. She never wore a dress. It was only in grade 11 that I realized she's a girl," Eric Modiba, head of the Nthema Secondary School, told the newspaper.
clipped from
South Africa's Caster Semenya celebrates after winning the gold medal in the

FAIRLIE, South Africa – In the poor, rural village where South African runner Caster Semenya grew up, relatives on Thursday brushed off questions about her deep voice and muscular build that have prompted the world governing body for track and field to seek gender tests.

"That's how God made her," said her cousin, Evelyn Sekgala, who recalls Semenya being teased about her boyish looks while growing up in Fairlie, a village at the end of a dirt road where the biggest traffic jam on Thursday was a herd of goats.

The 18-year-old runner's father, Jacob, told the Sowetan newspaper: "She is my little girl. ... I raised her and I have never doubted her gender. She is a woman and I can repeat that a million times."

A teacher first got Semenya interested in running, her cousin said in this village some 300 miles (500 kilometers) north of Johannesburg.
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