Caster Semenya Is 18 Years Old

24/08/2009

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I have not posted anything for a long time, due to reasons that have little baring here, but feel that it is important to air some view on the “scandal” that has engulfed Athletics this week.

This site is a soccer and cricket site and does not touch on any other sports, but some cross overs need to aired and come comments have to be viewed that are outside the normal parameters of the site. This is one.

Caster Semenya, the South African running sensation, has not been treated with fairness or compassion in what is a very testing time for her, and I say her because she is a woman, and the world media must take blame and be shamed. As the headline of this post states – she is 18. She is a child who has had her world shattered because of how she looks, and also because she won. Let there be no doubt that had this girl fell at the qualifying rounds little notice would have been cast on her muscular build and boyish looks, but because she has talent to go with her physic she is being put through hell. Had she been a 100m runner and not a 800m runner there also would not have been much uproar. A look at the starting grid of any women’s 100m race will show all who watch a group of women with muscles and bodies that many males would be proud of, and they are proud of them, as well they should be, they are in condition to to what their bodies are best capable of. Yet Caster must be ashamed? The worlds double standards are nothing new, but to have them forced on a child is disgusting.

The young girl from Limpopo has always had to deal with snide comments about her looks but she bravely let her running do the talking. She did just that in the final of the World Athletics Championships in Berlin, winning gold and blowing away the field, filling South African hearts with pride. Berlin – the scene of Hitlers Olympics, where Jesse Owen showed the world that there is more to man than skin colour, should again show the world that the witch hunt being vetted out against this child is not right.

To grow up as a girl, to know that you are a girl, to be teased because of boyish looks and feats, to be a child in that light is not easy. To have the entire world question your gender and demand tests is humiliating. This is not some back yard race but the World Athletics Championships. Do those throwing stones think that a man would pretend to be a woman and not just compete but go out and win and in front of the worlds media hope to get away with it? They should be ashamed at how this situation has be handled. Any doubts about her gender to not come from Semenya, her family, her friends, and all who have known her during her brief 18 year life. For her to have to face this criticism is disgusting and unfair.

Experts will tell you that the deeper you go with gender tests, the more tests you run, the more ambigious the results. No child should be put through this, and certainly not in the public view. A child who should be embarking on the begining of a glittering and successful career could now be forced to retire, and have her life ruined. Should Caster decide never to run again after this defemation for entertainment sake, who would blame her? I hope that when she is cleared she continues to run, continues to win, breaks records and firmly puts all those who doubted her, all those who put her through this nightmare in their places.

South Africa applauds our proud you champion, our girl, and hopes the world will to. If they don’t, well who cares?