News Brief

Caster Semenya Wins Gold in Historic Women's 800m Victory for South Africa

Middle-distance runner Caster Semenya is the first black South African woman to win gold at the Olympics.

The world is having an hour. Frank Ocean just broke the internet with the release of his second surprise album in two days, the highly, highly-anticipated and very much long-awaited Boys Don’t Cry Blond LP.


And we love you, Frank. But let’s be real. Tonight belongs to someone else.

Caster Semenya is officially an Olympic champion.

The South African middle-distance star from Polokwane made history mere moments ago in Rio, emerging victorious in the final of the women’s 800-metre event with a time of 1:55.28. Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba and Kenya’s Margaret Wambui put up a good fight. Semenya, calm and collected as always, pulled away in the final 200 metres.

She didn’t break Czech runner Jarmilla Kratochvilova’s 33-year-old world record of 1:53:28 as many were hoping. But she did set a new national record in South Africa and make history as the first black South African woman to win gold at the Olympics.

Semenya’s win brings South Africa’s medal count to their goal of ten. It was their second gold of the 2016 Summer Games––on Sunday, sprinter Wayde van Niekerk put on one of the great Olympic performances of all time and smashed American track-and-field star Michael Johnson’s 17-year world record.

Niyonsaba's second-place finish (with a time of 1:56.49) marks Burundi's first medal of the Rio Games. Wambui's third-place finish (1:56.89) brings Kenya's medal count to eleven.

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