News Brief

It's #CasterSemenyaDay in South Africa

South Africans rally behind Caster Semenya as the middle-distance star begins her bid for Olympic gold today in round one of the women's 800m.

Caster Semenya hits the track for the first time these Summer Olympic Games today in Rio. Racing in the first round of the women’s 800-metre event, the South African middle-distance runner is just a few hours away from beginning her bid for Olympic gold. The 25-year-old track-and-field star also has her eyes on a 33-year-old world record (a time of 1:53:28, set by Czech runner Jarmila Kratochvilova in 1983).


Semenya’s road to Rio has not been without debate. But as we mentioned over the weekend, she’s backed by a nation of supporters.

On Twitter this morning, many South Africans are calling for #CasterSemenyaDay.

Others are showing love with the hashtag #Caster4Gold.

One Twitter user said her dad wrote a poem for Semenya.

And that wasn’t the only poem. Poet Jackie Mondi's praise poem, "Caster is Mokgadi," is currently making the rounds.

Jackie Mondi's poem, "Caster is Mokgadi"

The first round of the women’s 800m event begins today at 15:55 local SA time. Look out for Semenya in the second heat at 16:02. The finals go down Saturday in Rio (2:15am Sunday in SA).

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