(Reuters) – South Africa’s Olympic champion Caster Semenya has been included on the entry list for the 5,000m event at next week’s World Championships in Oregon.
Semenya, who achieved a personal best of 15:31.50 in the event earlier this year, failed to make the qualifying time of 15:10.00.
She was also not included in South Africa’s team for the championships, but will be allowed to compete after a number of higher-ranked runners pulled out.
“There were several withdrawals from other athletes around the world which opened the opportunity and World Athletics made it possible that she be entered,” a spokesperson for Athletics South Africa told Reuters in an email on Saturday.
Semenya, a two-time Olympic champion at 800m, began running the 5,000m after she was barred from competing in any race from 400m to a mile.
Governing body World Athletics ruled in 2018 that to ensure fair competition, women with high natural testosterone levels must take medication to reduce them to compete in middle-distance races.
Semenya, who refuses to take any medication to alter her testosterone levels, has had little success in the alternative distances she has competed in and failed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics last year.
If the 31-year-old competes in next week’s championships, it will be her first appearance at a world championships or Olympics since 2017, when she won her third 800m world title in London.
The World Championships will be held in Eugene, Oregon from July 15.
(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)