Agent cool over Semenya`s prospects on return

Helsinki: The agent of controversial South
African athlete Caster Semenya has said he did not expect her
to obtain top results at her first meeting since being allowed
to run again as a female.

"The comeback is too early in respect of top results ...
She is very realistic about her (current) fitness level and
does not try to cover it up," Semenya`s Finnish agent Jukka
Haerkoenen yesterday told public broadcaster YLE.

He, however, noted the South African 800m world champion
"will be ready in October for the Commonwealth Games, there is
still enough time for that".

Haerkoenen was speaking from Lappeenranta, a town some
30km from the Russian border and 150km east of Helsinki, where
Semenya will resume her running career today after an 11-month

The 19-year-old was given the green light to run again
last week, after a review by the International Association of
Athletics Federations (IAAF) of gender-verification tests.

Semenya has not run since leaked test results claimed she
was a hermaphrodite following her win at the 2009 World
Championships in Berlin.

She was resting yesterday and did not meet the press, but
said in comments published in the Ilta-Sanomat afternoon paper
she had long waited on the results allowing her to run again.

"11 months is too long a break from competing," she told
the paper.

"First the results were supposed to be coming in March,
then in June, and time stretched and stretched."

"I am not bitter about anybody. I do not even know if I
am treated fairly or unfairly. I do not know the rules," she

"If one has to push through that, then I have succeeded,"
she said.

Her manager added she was happy to be competing again,
and hoped the media would treat her normally and let her
compete in peace.

It was also reported that Sharad Pawar has talked to the BCCI top officials regarding this.

Bureau Report

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