After Caster Semenya cruised her way into the 800m semi-finals, we wanted to find out a bit more about the South African Olympian. Here are nine things you didn’t know about Caster.
1. The 800 metre isn’t her favourite race
While you’d most likely assume that she loves this race the most, her one true love is actually the 1500 metre – or the “one thou five” as she calls it.
2. She is focused on her studies
After running, her main focus is on obtaining her degree from the University of Pretoria where she is currently studying Sports Science.
3. She wasn’t always into running
She only began running to supplement her soccer training.
4. She is a humble winner
On 16 April 2016, Semenya became the first person to win all three of the 400m, 800m, and 1500m titles at the South African National Championships, setting world leading marks of 50.74 and 1:58.45 in the first two events, and a 4:10.93 in the 1500m, all within four hours of each other.
5. She prefers being front and centre
Semenya isn’t a fan of running in a group during a race, she prefers to remain in the front as to avoid getting ‘spiked’ by runners around her.
6. Her Mozambican hero
Semenya’s lifelong idol is the Olympic and three times 800m world champion Maria Mutola. According to Semenya, she relates to her due to their love of football, as well as how Mutola transitioned to soccer after her running career.
7. Caster’s ideal meal
Pap and vleis. ‘I don’t drink fizzy drinks, like coke, just juice and water – and I don’t drink alcohol’ the athlete said.
8. Semenya is a mover & groover
While other runners get nervous ahead of their race, Caster pumps her hip hop and gospel music to relax her nerves.
9. She started young
At 18-years old, Caster Semenya became the 13th fastest woman ever to run the 800 metres, gaining her the gold medal at the 2009 World Championship. She hasn’t stopped making South African’s proud since.