‘Gender row’ athlete Semenya to be South Africa’s flag-bearer at London Olympics

Johannesburg: The South Africa Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) has announced that middle-distance runner Caster Semenya would be carrying the country’s flag at the London Olympics.

The SASCOC made this announcement at the South African team`s farewell banquet in Sandton on Wednesday.

Semenya won the women`s 800m title at the age of 18 at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin, Germany in 2009, but was involved in a gender row after the amount of testosterones found in her body was three times of that present in a normal female.

More recently, she powered her way to the silver medal at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

“Caster is an absolute role model for all sportsmen and women in South Africa,” Sports24 quoted SASCOC president Gideon Sam, as saying.

“She`s proved herself to be an absolute inspiration in the face of adversity and we are sure that this inspiration will rub off on each and every member of the Olympic squad,” Sam added.

Semenya, who was cleared to run against women in 2010 after an 11-month gender controversy, was selected as the flag bearer ahead of ‘Blade Runner’ Oscar Pistorius, who will make history in London as the first amputee to compete on the track at the able-bodied Games, and long jumper Khotso Mokoena, the country`s only medallist at the 2008 Beijing Games.