Semenya trains in the dusk... and waits

Durban: Caster Semenya, picked out by a bright moon as yet another long training session comes to an end, does not look like an athlete with the cares of the world on her shoulders.

Despite a sharp chill in the air and the late afternoon sun fast disappearing, she works through her routines with intensity before finally easing up for some warm-down laps and banter with a handful of other athletes putting in some overtime.

She even offers a cheery wave to me as I look on from a short distance but firmly in my place behind a metal fence.

In the next few weeks, if the sport`s governing body keeps its earlier promises, she will learn the result of an inquiry into her gender which has sidelined her from competition since she skipped to an easy world championship 800m victory in Berlin last August.

Apart from briefly breaking her silence to protest that the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) was taking too long to reach its conclusion on such a sensitive matter, the 19-year-old from a tiny village in South Africa`s northern Limpopo province has kept her own counsel.

An interview request this week was politely turned down although we were invited to watch her at work -- without bringing television or photographic colleagues -- and talk about her progress with her coach Michael Seme.

Bureau Report