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After blowing away her competition in the 800-meter race at the World Challenge meet in August, Caster Semenya landed in ninth place in her strongest event on Tuesday.
Semenya's manager said her slower-than-usual 2:07.16 performance at the Palio della Quercia in Rovereto, Italy, was due to fatigue and sickness, according to the Associated Press. She crossed the finish line nearly seven seconds after winner Elisa Cusma Piccione of Italy. Last month, Piccone placed third in the World Challenge race, where Semenya ran a strong 1:59.90 and won, beating out American Christin Wurth-Thomas. After the race, Piccone told the press, "For me, she is a man."
Semenya, a 19-year-old South African, was recently cleared by the International Association of Athletics Federations to run after 11 months of testing proved she is biologically female and fit to compete against other women. The question over her gender came up when she clocked a 1:54.9 in the 800-meter race at the 2009 IAAF World Championships.