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Caster Semenya graduates with sports management degree but misses 'walk of fame'

03 June 2021 - 12:00 By unathi nkanjeni
Olympic champion Caster Semenya has got her degree.
Olympic champion Caster Semenya has got her degree.
Image: Caster Semenya via Facebook

Congratulatory messages have been pouring in for Olympian Caster Semenya after the athlete graduated with a sports management degree this week. 

The double Olympic 800m champion shared the exciting news on social media, but expressed her disappointment at not being able to collect her degree on stage, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Today it's that day but virtual not the same feeling like the walk of fame for those few seconds,” she captioned a post with an image of a graduation outfit.

In 2018, the athlete obtained a diploma in sports science at North West University in Potchefstroom, just a few days after making history by smashing the South African 1,000m record.

Semenya bagged her degree amid her ongoing battle to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, in July. 

In 2019, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court banned her from competing while her lawsuit against the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) over regulation of her testosterone levels continued.

She lost her appeal last year but vowed to continue fighting the ruling. 

Last week, she failed in her Olympic qualifying bid after starting the 5‚000m too slow and fell short of the qualifying time by just more than half a minute.

Semenya's former coach Jean Verster, who is the Athletics SA track and field chair, blamed the wind for her failure to qualify. 

“We are looking to organise a few races to help them to qualify at sea level. We are exploring all our options and looking at Europe and there is no need to panic as June 29 is still far off,” said Verster. 

On social media, many including actress Lerato Mvelase, the EFF's Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and Nigerian track and field athlete Blessing Okagbare congratulated Semenya on bagging her degree. 

Here is a snapshot of what others had to say: