Two-time Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya is on the entry list for the women’s 5000m at the upcoming World Athletics Championships 2022 in Oregon, paving the way for a potential surprise return to the big stage.
World Athletics released the final entry lists on Friday (8), outlining the athletes who are eligible to compete at the championships, and Semenya, who had to switch to race in the longer distances due to rules that prevents her from contesting the middle-distance events, was named among the 5000m entrants. Read more: Sifan Hassan to open 2022 season at Stumptown Twilight; how to watch her live?
The 31-year-old’s personal best in the event is 15:31.50, which didn’t meet the world championships qualifying standard of 15:10.00, but was added to South Africa’s traveling team to Oregon, according to a report on NBC Sports and confirmed by Athletics South Africa in a Reuters report.
“There were several withdrawals from other athletes around the world which opened the opportunity and World Athletics made it possible that she be entered,” a spokesperson for Athletics South Africa told Reuters in an email on Saturday.
Semenya is a two-time Olympic and three-time world championships gold medalist in the 800m but has been blocked from contesting her preferred event due to rules affecting “women with conditions that cause high natural testosterone.”
If she runs the 5000m at the World Athletics Championships, it is unlikely to see her on the podium, but track and field fans will welcome her return to a global championship for the first time since winning gold and bronze medals in the 800m and 1500m in London five-years-ago in 2017.
Sifan Hassan to open season in 5000m at Stumptown Twilight
Meanwhile, two-time Olympic champion Sifan Hassan has been entered in three events, the women’s 1500m, 5000m, and the 10,000m, but although not revealing which event(s) she will contest at the world championships in Oregon, her coach ruled out any chance of a repeat from Tokyo where she did the treble.
The 29-year-old will surprisingly make her 2022 season debut on Friday night in a 5000m race in Portland where she and her handlers will be monitoring her form and fitness ahead of Oregon22.
You can watch Hassan in action at the Stumptown Twilight meeting which will be live streamed online for free. Click here for more information on how to stream the meet.