On Saturday night South African athlete, Caster Semenya, made history when she won an Olympic gold medal in the 800 metres women’s final. Semenya won the race in style, clocking a national record of 1.55.28.
However, not everyone is happy with the South African athlete’s remarkable feat and Great Britain’s athlete Lynsey Sharp could not hide her disappointment and anger. Following her defeat, Sharp said it was “difficult” to compete fairly following the recently suspended hyperandrogenism regulations.
Sharp’s comments, which seems to suggest that she lost to Semenya because it is “difficult” to compete against the South African because of the recently suspended hyperandrogenism regulations have raised the ire of social media. The British athlete implied that reforms, which allow hyperandrogenic athletes to avoid artificially controlling their testosterone levels made it difficult to compete fairly.
Sharp who came sixth in the race told the BBC: “The public can see how difficult it is with the change of rule but all we can do is give it our best”.
The British athlete was referring to the decision on a case brought to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) last year by the Athletics Federation of India on behalf of hyperandrogenic athlete Dutee Chand. In its ruling the court suspended the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) regulations on the matter, until there’s substantial evidence to prove the performance advantage of hyperandrogenic female athletes over other female athletes with normal testosterone levels.
The ruling allowed hyperandrogenic athletes to compete at Rio games, and other international competitions without having to artificially control their testosterone levels.
Athletes such as Sharp continue to register their discontentment at the rule change. However, Sharp’s remarks have continued to receive widespread ridicule and criticism on social media.
Here is a selection of how Twitter reacted to Lynsey Sharp’s comments following Semenya’s golden victory:
Dear Lynsey Sharp,
You can't be mediocre your whole life.
(See below) pic.twitter.com/G2U4v6VccT
— Maps Maponyane (@MapsMaponyane) August 21, 2016
Truly heartbroken for @LynseySharp. If it weren't for Caster she would have come 5th to reach her full potential https://t.co/7relazKbTy
— thabani. (@A_Young_Padawan) August 22, 2016
— DJ Fresh (Big Dawg) (@DJFreshSA) August 22, 2016
— Sisonke Msimang (@Sisonkemsimang) August 22, 2016
Does Lynsey Sharp, in her bullying of other athletes, realise that she was nowhere near a medal?
— Siphumelele Zondi (@SZondi) August 21, 2016