Caster Semenya not ready to retire

Caster Semenya not ready to retire

Multi-Olympic 800m gold medallist Caster Semenya claims she will not be bullied into retirement by anyone.

The poster girl of South African athletics will not run her favourite 800m at the World Championships in August and at the Olympic Games in Paris 2024, due to World Athletics’ regulations requiring lower levels of testosterone to compete in races from 400m to 1 500m.

As a result, Semenya is forced to run the 5000m which is not her specialized event. And the qualifying standard for the World Championships in Budapest is 14:57:00. Speaking to SABC Sport, Semenya says she will not be stopped from running.

"I don't need to retire from track. I didn't introduce myself [when I was coming in]. That should be how you portray yourself in the history of sports. So for me, running has always been my passion. I can never take a mic and say 'I'm retiring'. I'll always run, either competitive or not. So no, I'm never retiring", she said. 

Semenya has been focusing on her foundation, which is under Masai Athletics Club, a running project that boasts 30 athletes based in Tshwane. She founded other branches in Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

The middle-distance star has had an illustrious career on the track, and she has developed a passion for coaching, and her biggest wish is to nurture the next generation of world-class athletes. 

"I've been self-coached since the beginning of 2016. Coaching is something that is in me, I've been venturing into a club, transitioning to Tuks Athletics Academy, as an assistant coach. I think for me it is an easy role to work in because coaching is my life, it's what I've been doing. 

“The most important thing for me is I'm a coach of life, running is about life as a whole, and about managing yourself. These are the things I install into the kids, for them to understand why they are there, and why they are doing that. What are the important aspects of being a student-athlete.”

Semenya coaches her brother Joel in Tshwane. The youngster won his first 400m professional race at the Athletics South Africa Grand Prix 3 Continental Tour Challenger in Potchefstroom, last month, in a time of  46.20 seconds.