London, United Kingdom | AFP | South African Caster Semenya, dogged by gender accusations since shooting to fame in 2009, won a third world title in the women’s 800m on Sunday.
Semenya, the defending Olympic champion and also world champion in 2009 and 2011, timed 1min 55.16sec, the fastest time of the year so far.
Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba, the Olympic silver medallist and world indoor champion, finished second in 1:55.92, with American Ajee Wilson taking bronze (1:56.65).
Wilson went out fast, with Niyonsaba on her coattails and Semenya happy to sit back in the pack. The South African was fifth going through the bell in a fast pace of 57.98sec.
Wilson made a move with 250 metres to run, Kenya’s Olympic bronze medallist Margaret Wambui immediately falling off pace.
Hitting the home straight, Wilson and Niyonsaba were neck and neck before Semenya moved smoothly outside the lead duo and motored through the line for a convincing victory.
— IAAF World Champs (@IAAFWorldChamps) August 13, 2017
Semenya is back in the spotlight following a study funded by the IAAF and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that showed female athletes with naturally high levels of testosterone enjoy a competitive advantage of up to 4.5 percent over their rivals.
The 26-year-old South African was one of a number of women taking medication to lower her testosterone level until 2015 when the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) suspended an IAAF rule that enforced a limit on naturally occurring levels.
Semenya has studiously avoided the controversy, instead concentrating on her track performances and she won a bronze in the highly competitive 1500m on Monday in the opening race of her ambitious bid for a distance double.
Semenya, who stands to be awarded the 2012 Olympic gold medal after Russian winner Mariya Savinova was disqualified for doping, now has to await further meetings between the IAAF and CAS to discover if she again has to take testosterone suppressing medication.
Hellen Obiri kills it in the last lap and takes gold in the 5000m!
— IAAF (@iaaforg) August 13, 2017
Kenya’s Obiri denies Ayana world double
Kenya’s Hellen Obiri claimed consolation for her Olympic silver last year winning the women’s 5,000 metres world title.
The 27-year-old produced a devastating burst down the back straight to leave defending champion Almaz Ayana trailing and went on to win in a time of 14min 34.86sec.
Ayana, who had won the 10,000m gold in what was her first race of the season, took silver for Ethiopia in 14:40.35 with the Netherlands Sifan Hassan finishing third in 14:42.73.
Ayana had decided to inject some much-needed zip into the pace with nine laps to run and only Obiri was able to match her.
The field was suddenly splintered with Hassan, also fom Ethiopia but who came to the Netherlands as a refugee aged 15, leading a group of five contesting the minor medal.
Ayana was unable to burn off Obiri as she had done her rivals in the 10,000m — which she won by over 46sec — with the Kenyan content to let her 25-year-old rival do all the pace-setting.
Her strategy paid off perfectly as heading into the final lap she moved up onto Ayana’s shoulder and then delivered her coup de grace.
Gold for Kenya!
Elijah Manangoi wins the 1500m at #IAAFworlds in 3:33.61!!
— IAAF (@iaaforg) August 13, 2017
Kenya’s Manangoi wins world 1500m gold
Kenya’s Elijah Motonei Manangoi upstaged favoured teammate Asbel Kiprop to win gold in the men’s 1500m.
Manangoi clocked 3min 33.61sec, finishing 0.38sec ahead of compatriot Timothy Cheruiyot.
Filip Ingebrigtsen of Norway claimed bronze in 3:34.53.
Kiprop’s bid for a fourth world title went up in smoke as he could only manage ninth