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Kenya misses 800m medal as Semenya rule

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Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi, silver, Caster Semenya of South Africa, gold, and Ajee Wilson of the United States, bronze, pose with their medals for the Womens 800 metres during day ten of the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 at The London Stadium on August 13, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 13 – Kenya’s Margaret Wambui Nyairera missed a medal after finishing fourth in the women’s 800m as Caster Semenya won a third world title on the last day of the London IAAF World Championships on Sunday.

Nyairera, the Olympic bronze medallist finished fourth in 1:57.54 as South African Semenya, dogged by gender accusations since shooting to fame in 2009, dominated the race in a World Lead of 1:55.16.

Burundian Francine Niyonsaba came second in 1:55.92 ahead of American Ajee Wilson who claimed bronze in 1:56.65.

Wilson made a move with 250 metres to run, Kenya’s Olympic bronze medallist Margaret Wambui immediately falling off pace.

Caster Semenya of South Africa races clear to win the Womens 800 metres during day ten of the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 at The London Stadium on August 13, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images for IAAF)

Hitting the home straight, Wilson and Niyonsaba were neck and neck before Semenya, the the defending Olympic champion and also world champion in 2009 and 2011,  moved smoothly outside the lead duo and motored through the line for a convincing victory.

Semenya is back in the spotlight following a study funded by the IAAF and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that showed female athletes with naturally high levels of testosterone enjoy a competitive advantage of up to 4.5 percent over their rivals.

Caster Semenya of South Africa competes during the Womens 800 metres final during day ten of the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 at The London Stadium on August 13, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images for IAAF)

The 26-year-old South African was one of a number of women taking medication to lower her testosterone level until 2015 when the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) suspended an IAAF rule that enforced a limit on naturally occurring levels.

Semenya has studiously avoided the controversy, instead concentrating on her track performances and she won a bronze in the highly competitive 1500m on Monday in the opening race of her ambitious bid for a distance double.

Semenya, who stands to be awarded the 2012 Olympic gold medal after Russian winner Mariya Savinova was disqualified for doping, now has to await further meetings between the IAAF and CAS to discover if she again has to take testosterone suppressing medication.

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