Semenya to carry South African flag in London

Caster Semenya.  By Franck Fife (AFP/File)
Caster Semenya. By Franck Fife (AFP/File)

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - Former 800m world champion Caster Semenya will be team South Africa's flag bearer at the Olympics in London, the local committee said Thursday.

"Caster is an absolute role model for all sportsmen and women in South Africa," said Gideon Sam, the president of the local Olympic Committee.

"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 said in a statement.

The 21-year-old landed in the spotlight in 2009 after she was forced to undergo drug tests followed by gender tests after her world win in Berlin.

She was barred from the track for almost a year before being cleared to run again and her comeback was hampered by a lower back injury.

Semenya is coached by 2000 Sydney Olympics 800m champion Mutola from Mozambique.

Her gender test caused widespread anger from the South African public and government and leaked test results said Semenya was a hermaphrodite.

‘To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.’
By: Ralph Waldo Emerson