Caster Semenya into semi-finals of Rio Olympics 800 metres

An International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) rule limiting the amount of naturally occurring functional testosterone for female athletes appeared to have brought an end of Semenya's career, but the rule was quashed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport a year ago.

Caster Semenya began her bid for what is set to be one of the most controversial gold medals of the Rio Olympics by breezing into the 800 metres semi-finals on Wednesday.

Elsewhere, Bridgitte Hartley, a bronze medallist at the 2012 London Games, was disappointed by her failure to reach the women's K1 500m canoe sprint A final.

"It was a little hard because I have not ran against those girls before but I am really happy with how I executed that race", Sharp told the BBC. She advanced to the semis with a personal best 1:59.78.

The 25-year-old put a turbulent build up to the Games behind her as she qualified first in her heat at the Olympic Stadium.

"I wish her all the best on Friday and Sunday".

"People say that the only reason she's being questioned is because she doesn't conform to a Western perception of what a woman should look like".

South Africans also took to social media in defence of Semenya under the hashtag #HandsOffCaster after two articles appeared in United States media this week.

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But it turned out that Savinova had the unfair advantage.

Much of the attention has focused on South African runner Caster Semenya, the favorite to win gold in the women's 800 meters on Saturday.

The Semenya story is one that is certain to gather momentum as she progresses in her quest for Olympic gold. There were reports that she was intersex - someone who has both male and female biological elements - and that her testosterone was well above natural levels in a woman, a condition known as hyperandrogenism.

"I was just trying to hang on, feel my body first so I could feel comfortable".

Ajee Wilson of the USA races Caster Semenya of South Africa during the women's 800m heats in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Estadio Olimpico Joao Havelange on August 17. "I like how you can sit back and relax, and wait for the right moment, it's not like the 800 where you just need to go".

The IAAF has hinted that it may appeal the CAS ruling on hyperandrogenism.

"I am not a fake", she told the BBC past year.

With due patriotism, South Africa has rallied in a distinctly 21st century style around a hashtag - #HandsOffCaster.

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