Britain’s Lynsey Sharp cried after losing to Caster Semenya at the Olympic Games and has reignited the gender row over the 800m gold medallist.
Semenya, who carried South Africa’s torch during the Olympic Games closing ceremony on Sunday, set a new national record as she won gold in the 800m in Rio.
Sharp, 26, finished sixth in the race and is now kwaad because she had to race against Semenya.
Sharp says: “I have tried to avoid the issue all year. You can see how emotional it all was.”
She also hinted that her feelings are shared by Melissa Bishop of Canada and Poland’s Joanna Jozwik, who also missed out on medals.
She adds: “We know how each other feels. It is out of our control and how much we rely on people at the top sorting it out.
“The public can see how difficult it is with the change of rule but all we can do is give it our best.”
Semenya, 25, has an “intersex” condition called hyperandrogenism which results in her having testosterone levels that are three times those usually found in women and approaching those of a man.e
Semenya was once forced to take medicine to suppress her testosterone amid claims she had an unfair advantage.
But the rules have been challenged meaning she can now run without the medication.
Silver medallist Francine Niyonsaba and Margaret Wambui, who got bronze, have also faced questions about their testosterone levels.
Sharp, who has previously complained Semenya’s condition resulted in “two separate races” made her latest comments in an tearful interview after Saturday’s final.
But fans on Twitter rallied by Semenya, with @MapsMaponyane writing: “Dear Lynsey Sharp, You can’t be mediocre your whole life. Be better. Sincerely yours, South Africa”.
Nicholas Campbell added: “Poor @LynseySharp. Must be so hard missing the coveted 5th place spot because a more talented athlete was allowed to compete”.