Kenya's Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon, centre, celebrates as she wins the women's 1500 meters final from silver medalist United States' Jennifer Simpson, right, as bronze medalist South Africa's Caster Semenya, left, falls.
Kenya's Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon, centre, celebrates as she wins the women's 1500 meters final from silver medalist United States' Jennifer Simpson, right, as bronze medalist South Africa's Caster Semenya, left, falls. Martin Meissner

Controversial Caster falls short of 1500m crown

CASTER Semenya's surprise decision to chase double world championship gold in London has failed.

The reigning Olympic 800m champion made the late call to also contest the 1500m which was the first time she'd competed in the longer event at a major championship.

Semenya, who remains one of the most controversial figures in the sport, flew late in the home straight but had to settle for the bronze medal.

Kenya's Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon, 23, showed the Rio form line held up, claiming the world title in an action-packed race in 4min02.59sec.

There were numerous challengers for medals over the final 100m with American Jennifer Simpson darting through on the inside to grab silver in 4:02.76sec.

Semenya just pipped hometown hero, Britain's Laura Muir, on the line for bronze (4:02.90sec).

"I'm really happy with the bronze,” she said. "Obviously a lot can not go your way in a final, so to come out with a bronze is amazing but I was hoping for a better time.

Kenya's Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon, front, celebrates as she wins the gold medal in the final of the women's 1500m. South Africa's Caster Semenya, bronze, is in the rear.
Kenya's Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon, front, celebrates as she wins the gold medal in the final of the women's 1500m. South Africa's Caster Semenya, bronze, is in the rear. David J. Phillip

"1500m is a tactical race, I tried to find my own space but fortunately I managed to get away with the bronze so I am happy.”

The South African will seek to win her third world 800m title on the final day of the championships on Sunday.

Once again Semenya has found herself being one of the stories of the event even before she set on the track with further scrutiny of the gender controversy which has dogged her career.

There is still a consensus with many in the sport that the 26-year-old's high testosterone levels give her an unfair advantage.

In a rare interview on South African TV in the lead-up to London last month, Semenya expressed her frustration at having her gender continually questioned.

"I don't understand when you say I have an advantage because I am a woman,” she told South Africa's SuperSport TV channel. "'When I pee, I pee like a woman. I don't understand when you say I'm a man or I have a deep voice. I know I am a female so there's no question for me.

"I have to find a way to deflect (the questioning of her gender), so instead of allowing it to all be negative, I turn it into a positive. My family's support system is fantastic.”

Semenya made world-wide headlines as a 19-year-old when she won the 2009 world title with reports afterwards claiming tests had revealed her body produced an abnormally high amount of testosterone.

An IAAF rule limiting the amount of naturally occurring functional testosterone for female athletes appeared to have narrowed Semenya's prospects but the IAAF's Hyperandrogenism Regulations were suspended for two years in 2015 by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, allowing Semenya to make a comeback.

Last month Semenya ran 1:55.27sec in the Diamond League meeting in Monaco which was the fastest in the women's 800m for almost a decade.

Omar McLeod of Jamaica celebrates after winning the men's 110m Hurdles final
Omar McLeod of Jamaica celebrates after winning the men's 110m Hurdles final IAN LANGSDON

In the men's 110m hurdles final, Jamaica finally got a gold medal on the board with Olympic champion Omar McLeod backing up from Rio to claim his first world title.

McLeod, 23, was prominent early and had a clear gap by half-way which he held comfortably to the line to win in 13.04sec.

Russia's Sergey Shubenkov, who'd been given a special clearance to compete despite his country being banned for doping, finished second (13.14sec) with Hungary's diving late for third (13.28sec).

World record holder Aries Merritt, who had a kidney transplant last year, was prominent early before fading for fifth.

McLeod admitted he felt the pressure after Jamaica's two biggest stars, Usain Bolt and Elaine Thompson, had suffered shock defeats in the 100m finals.

"This one is special, honestly,” he said.

"There was a lot of pressure coming in but I channelled it positively. It's totally different to last year where we had Usain and Elaine winning, which I used to propel me.

"I didn't have that this time so I really wanted to come out and shine my own light.”

In the women's 400m semi-finals Allyson Felix cruised through as she searches for her 10th world championship gold medal.

The American champion clocked 50.12sec to finish second to 19-year-old Salwa Eid Naser from Bahrain who set a new personal best of 50.08sec.

Reigning Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo was very impressive, shutting down over the final 10m to win the first semi-final easily in 50.36sec.

America's Phyllis Francis won the third semi-final in 50.37sec.



Prosecutor: Being guilty of offences should be 'embarassing'

premium_icon Prosecutor: Being guilty of offences should be 'embarassing'

'Part of the criminal court is for it to be fully disclosed...'

8 things to do on the Fraser Coast this weekend

8 things to do on the Fraser Coast this weekend

What's on this weekend across the Fraser Coast

NAMED: Lengthy disqualification for three Hervey Bay women

premium_icon NAMED: Lengthy disqualification for three Hervey Bay women

Three women this week lost their licence for two years.

Local Partners