Sunday, 21 August 2016

Rio Olympics: Caster Semenya Leaves No Doubt in 800

Caster Semenya of South Africa, whose body has been subjected to indelicate and unrelenting public scrutiny for years, won her first Olympic gold medal on Saturday at the Rio Games.

Semenya won the 800 meters by a comfortable margin, in 1 minute 55.28 seconds. While her performances tend to carry the weight of an issue that transcends sports, those looking for undeniable athletics excellence Saturday night were rewarded: her runaway victory solidified her standing as one of the best middle-distance runners of her generation.

When Semenya, then 18, dominated the 800 at the 2009 world track and field championships, winning by more than two seconds, a fellow competitor called her a man, setting off a years-long debate over how sports officials should navigate the complicated question of how to determine an athlete’s sex.

The questioning of Semenya’s success led to a policy enacted in 2011 by the I.A.A.F., the sport’s governing body, that restricted the permitted levels of testosterone, which occur naturally high in some women. That condition is called hyperandrogenism.

With that policy in effect, Semenya won silver at the 2012 London Games.

Last year, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the Swiss-based high court for international sport, suspended track and field’s testosterone policy for two years.

The court said it had been “unable to conclude that hyperandrogenic female athletes may benefit from such a significant performance advantage that it is necessary to exclude them from competing in the female category.”
Rio Olympics: Caster Semenya Leaves No Doubt in 800
So Many Medals, So Little Time
After two weeks of world records, heartwarming stories and a healthy dose of controversy, the 2016 Rio Olympic Games come down to this: two days of nonstop jubilation and heartbreak — and unending medal ceremonies. Here’s what happened Saturday:

Mo Farah of Britain added the 5,000-meter gold to the one he earned in the 10,000. In the 1,500, American Matthew Centrowitz upset Asbel Kiprop of Kenya to win the gold.

• The United States concluded the final night of track and field with two commanding relay performances, raising the country’s gold-medal tally to 43.

The women’s 4x400-meter team — Courtney Okolo, Natasha Hastings, Phyllis Francis and Allyson Felix — outran Jamaica (silver) and Britain (bronze) with a time of 3:19.06.

Felix, who ran the anchor leg, now has six gold medals; the night before she became the first woman in the sport to win give. The only American female Olympian with more golds is the swimmer Jenny Thompson, who won eight.

Lashawn Merritt ran the anchor for the United States in the men’s 4x400, creating a big gap between the Americans and second-place Jamaica. Arman Hall, Tony McQuay, Gil Roberts and Merritt finished in 2:57.30.

With only the men’s marathon remaining, on Sunday morning, the United States track team has collected 31 total medals, including 13 golds.

• In the men’s soccer final, Brazil got a measure of revenge on Germany, winning the gold medal on penalties after a 1-1 draw. Germany had embarrassed Brazil in the 2014 World Cup semifinal, 7-1. Here’s our game story.

• The American Gwen Jorgensen of the United States has won the last two world championships in the triathlon, but she had some unfinished Olympic business after a flat tire on her bike doomed her to 38th place at the London Games. The wheels stayed intact this time, and Jorgensen won the gold medal.

The United States women’s basketball team extended their gold medal streak to six by beating Spain, 101-72.

• The boxer Shakur Stevenson of Newark lost his bantamweight title match against Cuba’s Robeisy Ramírez. Stevenson, who was named after the rapper Tupac Shakur, was trying to win the first gold medal for the United States in men’s boxing since Andre Ward in 2004.

• The seven-time major winner Inbee Park of South Korea won the first gold medal in women’s golf since 1900. Five strokes back was Lydia Ko of New Zealand, and Feng Shanshan of China won the bronze.

• The defending champion, American David Boudia, grabbed another medal in men’s platform diving, this time a bronze. The winner was Chen Aisen from the strong Chinese diving team.
Simone Biles Will Lead U.S. at Closing Ceremony

Simone Biles will carry the flag for the United States Olympic team during the closing ceremony in Rio Sunday. Biles, who won four gold medals in gymnastics at these Games, was picked by her fellow Team U.S.A. members in a vote. She becomes only the second gymnast to serve as the United States flag-bearer after Alfred Jochim led the team during the opening ceremony in 1936.
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