After months of gender testing and international scrutiny, South African athlete Caster Semenya won her first 800-meter event in her return to track and field competition.
Semenya, 19, took the event with 2 minutes, 4.22 seconds at the Lappeenranta Games in Finland on Thursday, 11 months after winning the world championships in Berlin for the same event. Her agent told Agence France-Presse that she was aiming for 2:04.25, since she was not in the same physical shape that she was when she took the gold in Berlin. However, she told Sports Illustrated, she was happy with her results.
"To come and run a 2:04 is not easy, especially after what happened," Semenya said. "I was a little bit nervous because it has been a long time not competing."
Semenya became an overnight star after she clocked in at 1:55.45 at the world championships last year. However her fast performance and appearance raised questions from the International Association of Athletics Federations' governing body. The IAAF eventually ordered several rounds of testing to confirm that she is indeed female. The organization cleared her for competition last week.