Caster Semenya wins 5,000m title in South African Athletics Championships

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Caster Semenya

Caster Semenya says she will not attempt to qualify for the 200m at the Tokyo Olympics after defending her national 5,000m title in South Africa.

The 30-year-old won the title in 15 minutes 52.28 seconds – 42.48 seconds outside the Olympic qualifying time.

Semenya will be unable to defend her 800m title after a controversial World Athletics rule change around testosterone levels in female runners.

“I’m getting old‚ I’m scared to tear my muscles,” she said of the 200m event.

The qualifying deadline for Tokyo is 29 June.

Semenya is a two-time Olympic champion in the 800m and won the 1,500m at the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

But under World Athletics rules, she is not allowed to compete in events between 400m and a mile unless she takes drugs to reduce her naturally high levels of testosterone.

She said in March 2019 that she would aim to compete in the 200m in Tokyo, but now feels it would be too much pressure on her body.

“We had to sit down and make sure that the decision that we make makes sense. Distance makes sense.

“We’re happy with what we’re doing‚ we’re having fun. At training each and every day, we don’t stress.”