Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
2 minute read
22 Oct 2018
2:19 pm

Semenya gets the nod for IAAF Awards

Wesley Botton

Although it is a tad awkward that she's going to face the IAAF in court soon...

Caster Semenya during the medal ceremony for the women's 1500m during the evening athletics session on day 7 of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium on April 11, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. Picture: Gallo Images

Caster Semenya has been given some recognition by an organisation she will soon face in court, after the versatile middle-distance runner was unveiled as one of 10 nominees on Monday for the IAAF Female Athlete of the Year award.

The 27-year-old athlete was included among the nominees for the third year in a row, after she had been given the nod by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in 2016 and 2017 before being omitted from the shortlist of finalists on both occasions.

In a near flawless 2018 campaign, Semenya again stuck up her hand for the prestigious global accolade, winning the 800m and 1 500m double at the Commonwealth Games, earning the 400m and 800m titles at the African Championships, securing 800m gold and 400m silver at the Continental Cup, and successfully defending her Diamond League crown in the 800m event.

She set three of the eight fastest 800m times ever run, including a national two-lap record of 1:54.25 in Paris in June, and climbed to fifth place in the all-time global rankings over the 1 000m distance, clocking 2:30.70 in Berlin last month.

Flaunting her immense ability, Semenya also made history by becoming the first South African athlete to dip under 50 seconds in the 400m sprint (49.62) and to break the four-minute barrier in the 1 500m event (3:59.92).

Semenya, who was gearing up to meet the IAAF in an upcoming courtroom battle in an attempt to have its new gender rules overturned, was up against nine other athletes for the annual award.

Other nominees were British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith, Kenyan steeplechase specialist Beatrice Chepkoech, Dutch middle-distance runner Sifan Hassan, Bahamian speedster Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Colombian triple jumper Caterine Ibarguen, Russian high jumper Mariya Lasitskene (competing as a neutral athlete), Croatian discus thrower Sandra Perkovic, Polish hammer thrower Anita Wlodarczyk and Belgian heptathlete Nafissatou Thiam.

A shortlist of five finalists was expected to be announced after the widespread voting process closed on November 12.

Meanwhile, nominees for the IAAF Male Athlete of the Year award were expected to be unveiled on Tuesday.

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