Lynsey Sharp runs PB out of medals behind Caster Semenya

Lynsey Sharp ran her fastest time ever but couldn't threaten the medal places. PICTURE: PA Wire

Lynsey Sharp ran her fastest time ever but couldn't threaten the medal places. PICTURE: PA Wire

Share this article
15
Have your say

SCOTLAND’S Lynsey Sharp gave her all, running a personal best of 1:57.69 but couldn’t threaten the medals in a rapid women’s 800m final that saw favourite Caster Semenya predictably take gold.

The controversial 25-year-old South African streaked away from Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi and Kenya’s Margaret Wambui, with Britain’s Sharp finishing sixth.

South Africa's Caster Semenya, as expected, cruised to the women's 800m gold. PICTURE: PA Wire

South Africa's Caster Semenya, as expected, cruised to the women's 800m gold. PICTURE: PA Wire

Semenya has been mired in a gender row since winning the world title in 2009.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport last year suspended the rules of athletics’ world governing body, the IAAF, on ‘hyperandrogenism’, which causes unnaturally high levels of testosterone, meaning athletes on testosterone-suppressing medication, like Semenya, could come off it.

Earlier this year Semenya set a new personal best of 1min 55.33secs, the fastest time in the world since 2008, and she bettered that time in Rio by 0.05s.

Sharp was moved to tears in her post-race interview and said: “I have tried to avoid the [Semenya] issue all year. You can see how emotional it all was. It is out of our control. We rely on people at the top sorting it out.

“The public can see how difficult it is with the change of rule but all we can do is give it our best.

“It was a great race to be part of.

“I knew it was going to be very competitive and to run my fastest ever time in an Olympic final, I have to be happy with but I’m a little bit frustrated because I know that I can go faster than that.

“It wasn’t necessarily about times but being competitive and I feel like I did myself justice.”

In the BBC studio, former marathon world champion Paula Radcliffe said: “However hard Lynsey goes away and trains, however hard [former GB 800m runner] Jenny Meadows goes and trains, they are never going to be able to compete with that level of strength and recovery that those levels of elevated testosterone brings.

“The big issue is, it is not cheating. Caster has done nothing to be in that situation and have those high levels.

“Either they take the medication to suppress the levels, which may affect how they are able to react and perform within races and training, or they choose to have an operation or they choose not to compete.

“It is not a situation they can come out of winning.”

READ MORE - Rio 2016: How Team GB’s medal count compares to the rest

Back to the top of the page