South Africa’s Caster Semenya had her fans in raptures when she won gold in the women’s 800m final at the IAAF World Championship in London.
Semenya, who is a two-time Olympic champion, smashed her own South African record to stop the clock in a time of 1.55.16.
Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba, the Olympic silver medallist, finished second in 1:55.92, with American Ajee Wilson taking bronze (1:56.65).
Semenya’s win came after British journalist Katie Hopkins questioned her gender in the days leading up to the race – suggesting that it was unfair that Semenya competed in women’s athletics because of questions around her gender.
The African National Congress Women’s League were among those who jumped to Semenya’s defence, calling Hopkins a “bigot homophobe” in a statement issued on Sunday.
“It is becoming a norm that wherever our beloved golden star Caster is competing at an international level, the racist homophobes will use the media to attack her,” said league secretary general Meokgo Matuba.
“They advance barbaric narratives, attempting to discredit Caster since they cannot stand the fact that a South African, in particular, black women, can compete and excel at international level.”