South Africa: 8 Years Later, Semenya to Receive Gold Medal After Russian Winner Banned

12 September 2019

Cape Town — Following the IAAF's decision to re-allocate medals from the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, South African duo Caster Semenya and Sunette Viljoen will now receive their gold and silver medals, respectively.

The IAAF will be honouring the affected athletes at the upcoming IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

For Viljoen's re-allocated silver medal, the IAAF plans to hold the ceremony on Wednesday, October 2 at the Khalifa Stadium at the beginning of the afternoon session, around 16:30.

Due to the fact Semenya will not be competing at this year's world championships, the IAAF will hand her medal to ASA in Doha. ASA will then in turn decide on the appropriate time, venue and date for an official handover to the 800m star.

These upgrades are the results of disqualifications of the original medalists from Russia for doping violations.

Semenya moved into the gold position in the women's 800m following the disqualification of Mariya Savinova, while Viljoen moved into silver medal position in the women's javelin after Maria Abakumova was disqualified.

"Excellent news indeed for the two athletes who had been placed wrongly because of those who cheated the system at the time, but after eight years we are happy that justice has been done. Congratulations to our athletes for their achievements and for being honoured as clean athletes," said Aleck Skhosana, the President of ASA.

"Their achievements are a great example to other athletes who not only look up to them, but who also aspire to reach the top of the world's performances as clean athletes.

"We are happy that the IAAF now offers a chance to the rightful winners a podium celebration in front of a capacity stadium which the cheats denied them at the original competition."

The re-allocation makes Semenya a triple world champion after also winning the 2009 (1:55.45) and 2017 (1:55.16) versions, while Viljoen's upgrade adds to her bronze from 2015 (65.79m).

Source: Sport24

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