Semenya-Mutola:Team To Watch At The Olympics
On 27 July 2012 most Africans will be glued to their television for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Although the games are six months away a story to watch is the newly formed partnership of Maria Mutola and Caster Semenya.
Semenya met Mutola in a chance encounter as she was leaving for Korea to attend the World Championships in 2011. It is said Mutola gave Semenya good tips of how she can improve her running. After the games in Korea, Semenya asked Mutola if she was interested in coaching her. Mutola agreed and what stands to be a great partnership was born.
The pairing of the two creates a very interesting partnership and we wait to see what it will produce.
Mutola, also known as the “Maputo Express” is considered to be one of the greatest 800m runners the world has seen. Her wins include one Olympic title and three world championships. She retired from athletics in 2008 and has recently diversified to playing semi-professional football in South Africa.
Semenya became only the second woman of the millennium to run under 1:55.5 triggered instant despise from her competitors. The fact that has a deep voice, and well built muscles that would make most male body builder envious did not help her cause. She ended being the victim of an 11 month gender verification test by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
Although she is now allowed to compete it is rumoured that the (IAAF) forced her to undergo some feminizing hormone treatment, in order to be allowed to compete as a woman. If these rumours are true we wonder whether these treatments will progressively slow Semenya down. Semenya never used to give her competitors a chance but we already see that she seems to be slowing down, in Korea she won silver.
If Semenya is deliberately holding back to keep media attention away, we just hope she is saving the best for the Olympics.
Click below to watch Semenya making running look easy-