Caster Semenya won her first race since being cleared to return to competition after undergoing gender tests. The 19-year-old South African won the 800 metres in a modest time of 2mins, 4.22 seconds yesterday at the low-key Lappeenranta Games in Finland. Her time was a long way off the 1.55.45 Semenya clocked when she won the 800m gold medal at the world championships in Berlin 11 months ago. Semenya, who started in lane 4, was level with most of her competition before pulling away on the home straight to beat a weak field.
Semenya is aiming to be in gold medal contention at October's Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India. Her next race is at the Lapinlahti Games on Sunday. Meanwhile, seven American runners will find out today if they have won back the Olympic relay medals stripped from them because of doping by Marion Jones, their teammate. Jearl Miles-Clark, LaTasha Colander-Clark, Andrea Anderson and Hennagan were forced to return gold medals; Chryste Gaines, Torri Edwards, Passion Richardson and Nanceen Perry returned bronze medals.
Perry is not part of the current case, however. The Court of Arbitration for Sport said it will issue its ruling on the appeal against the athletes' disqualification from the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) nullified its results and took back the medals in 2007 after Jones admitted using performance-enhancing drugs. Jones lost gold in the 4x400 relay and bronze in the 4x100, plus her individual golds in the 100 and 200 metres and long jump bronze.