Caster Semenya shatters record at African Athletics Championships 

Double Olympic gold medallist wins 400m, but faces problems ahead of Tokyo 2020

Caster Semenya has smashed another national record, this time in the 400m at the African Athletics Championships.

The South African is renowned for her domination of the middle distances, with consecutive 800m Olympic gold medals.

But in Asaba, Nigeria Semenya added a new string to her already impressive bow, with a maiden sprint victory.

On a running surface that has seen better days, Semenya scorched past her hapless rivals in 49.96 seconds.

Her time would have placed fourth in the Rio 2016 Olympic final.

The 27-year-old now holds national records in the 400m, 800m, 1000m and 1500m.

"I've run 400 meters previously, I just haven't really done it at competitive level," Semenya told reporters.

"But for me it's not about who I'm running against, it's just about me doing what I can do best."

New event, same lingering problem

Those hoping to see Semenya attempt to win three gold medals in Japan may be disappointed.

The 27-year-old has stated that she plans to compete in at least the 800m and 1500m in the Olympics.

However, new legislation could prevent the Polokwane native from doing so.

Semenya has a condition known as hyperandrogenism, which means she has high levels of naturally-occurring testosterone.

The then 18-year-old stormed to a comfortable world 800m title in Berlin in 2009.

Her drastic improvements came under scrutiny by the IAAF and Semenya was ordered to take sex tests.

The result was an eleven-month exclusion from athletics.

The next steps for Caster Semenya

On November 1 2018, new IAAF legislation will officially begin, barring women with high levels of naturally occurring testosterone from competing in distances from 400m up to the mile.

Semenya has publicly declared that she will challenge the new ruling through the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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