Many have speculated that Semenya may beat a 33-year-old world record in the final sunday

By Tiare Dunlap
August 18, 2016 10:45 PM
ANESH DEBIKY/AFP/Getty

The domination continues.

As widely predicted, Caster Semenya came in first place in her 800-meter semifinal heat Thursday night at the Rio Olympic Games.

The 25-year-old will represent South Africa in the final on Sunday and is a favorite to win gold. Her dominating performance in her heats Wednesday and Thursday have even led some to speculate that Sunday may be the day Semenya beats a 33-year-old world record.

It would be a stunning accomplishment – but it would not come without questions for the middle distance runner.

With each stellar performance, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist is further subjected to public scrutiny over her broad shoulders, deep voice, muscular arms, severe jawline and narrow hips.

This issue has trailed Semenya, with competitors and journalists alike regularly raising questions about her appearance and speculating about her gender.

While she and her family say she was born female, many have suggested that Semenya is intersex (born with both male and female genitalia) or hyperandrogenous (where the body contains higher levels of testosterone than other females).

After winning a world championship in 2009, Semenya was subjected to sex verification tests, the results of which were leaked online. An onslaught of vitriol on social media soon followed.

That same year, Semenya told You magazine that she wasn’t upset by the hate because she accepts herself.

“I see it all as a joke, it doesn’t upset me,” she said. “God made me the way I am and I accept myself. I am who I am and I’m proud of myself.”

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