BERLIN, August 16 – World 800 metre champion Janeth Jepkosgei’s defence of her crown remains on course after the competition judging panel at the World Athletics Championships upheld her appeal on Sunday.
The 25 year old had finished last in heat one after she was tripped 150 metres from the finish line by South Africa’s Caster Semenya but following her successful appeal she will now compete in Monday’s semifinals.
The news was huge relief to an agitated Kenyan camp which had lodged a written protest within minutes.
A fuming Jepkosgei had declined to give interviews instead headed straight to her team officials to lodge the protest.
Speaking after the race, Samenya who twisted her ankle had absolved herself from blame.
“I don’t know what happened. I didn’t see anything because I was looking forward. I just saw the Kenyan fall down and I tried to jump over. But I twisted my ankle in the process. I went through the first round and it went well but at the moment I can’t feel my ankle. I need to see the physio to check my leg. If its not good, I will quit,” said Samenya.
All appeared well as Jepkosgei led from the onset but a sthe athletes approached the final straight, the South African teenager Semenya cut right infront of Jepkosgei taking her legs from underneath her.
Relatively inexperienced, Semenya burst into the limelight earlier this month when she clocked 1:56.72 while winning the Africa 1500 metres title at Africa Junior Championships in Mauritius.
Olympic champion Pamela Jelimo then survived spiking and shoving to win make it to the semis. The 19 year old had blood trickling down her leg as she crossed the finish line in 2:03.50.
“The race was very tactical and I am happy that I have cleared the first hurdle. There was a lot of pushing shoving and that is why I stayed out at the back for most of the race,” she said.
“I am sorry over what has happened to Janeth. It is wrong because competition should be fair but what the South African lady did was not fair,” she observed regarding the Janeth case.
“Now am looking forward to the semis and hopefully I can make the final,” added Jelimo.