Mokgadi Caster Semenya, better known by his stage name Caster Semenya, is a South African Olympic runner who is renowned for taking part in middle-distance track and field competitions.
She is on the list of the most renowned persons and one of the most accomplished runners in her nation. Caster is a medal-winning runner who has won numerous competitions both domestically and internationally.
Early Life and Education
Caster Semenya was born to Dorus and Jacob Semenya in Ga-Masehlong, Polokwane, South Africa, on January 7, 1991. When she was a young girl, she moved in with her grandmother, Maputhi Sekgala, in the South African village of Fairlie.
Caster has a brother and three sisters. She played soccer at Nthema Secondary School, where she attended. She joined at the University of North West after finishing secondary school and studied Sports Science there.
Caster began competing in sports while still in school. She started running as a form of association football training, and in July she competed in the 800m at the 2008 World Junior Championships but was disqualified. At the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games, Caster later took home the gold.
Caster competed in the 2009 African Junior Championships and took first place in the 800 and 1500 meters. She shattered the 800 m senior and junior South African records in the contest. She won gold in the 800m at the World Championships in August as well with a time of 1:55.45. She once more set the fastest time of the year in this race.
Track & Field News named her the top female 800-meter runner of the year in December 2009. Because the IAAF has not made Caster’s results public, she was unable to compete professionally the next year. She was cleared by the organization on July 6 and entered the worldwide tournament once more.
Caster won two small events in Finland nine days after she returned to compete. She ran the same course where she won the World Championship on August 22, 2010. Caster finished quickly, in under two minutes for the first time since the controversy, despite a poor start.
In December 2009, Track & Field News named her the year’s top female 800-meter runner. Caster was unable to participate professionally the next year because the IAAF did not make her results available to the public. On July 6, she received approval from the organization and reentered the international competition.
Nine days after she returned to compete in Finland, Caster won two minor competitions there. On August 22, 2010, she ran the same route that she used to win the World Championship. Despite a shaky start, Caster finished quickly—in under two minutes for the first time since the scandal.
Caster offered to carry the nation’s flag during the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Later, she took home a silver medal in the women’s 800m race, finishing in second place with a timing of 1:57:23.
Savinova finished the race ahead of Caster by 1.04 seconds, taking home the gold. The World Anti-Doping Agency recommended in November 2015 that Savinova and four other Russian athletes get lifetime bans for using performance-enhancing drugs during the Olympics.
Results from July 2010 to August 2013 for Savinova were officially annulled on February 10, 2017, by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). During this period, she also lost all of her titles. A silver medal from the 2011 World Championships, where Caster had placed third, and the victory from the 2012 World Championships were given to her five years later.
Indian sprinter Dutee Chand appealed the law that instituted “gender tests” in 2015. The Court of Appeals for Scotland found in Chand’s favor, finding that there was not convincing scientific evidence that these women had a “unfair” performance advantage over others as a result of having higher testosterone levels. As a result, the IAAF policy on high levels of testosterone in female athletes was suspended, and Caster and other female athletes were spared from having to do the test once more.
Caster became the first individual to ever win all three of the titles in the 400, 800, and 1500 meters at the South African National Championships on April 16.
In July, Caster set a new record again for 800m and on the 20th of August, she also won another gold medal in the 800m at the Rio Olympics.
Caster earned the bronze medal in the 1500 meters at the 2017 World Championships in London. She also took home the gold in the women’s 800 meter race. Caster joined the Janine van Wyk-owned JVW F.C, a South African SAFA Sasol Women’s League soccer team, in September 2019.
2020 saw Caster publicly admit that she had changed her Olympic race from the 400m to the 200m in order to adhere to the 400m to one-mile restriction. She would need to achieve a qualifying time of 22.80 in order to be eligible for the 200m, though. She had won the 5000m at the South African Champion earlier this year.
Caster participated in a 5000m race at the Eugene, Oregon, 2022 World Athletics Championships. She finished roughly a minute behind the winner of her heat to advance to the semi-finals in the race, which was her first significant international competition since 2017. She failed to go to the finals, though.
Caster may be among the best in South Africa, but her career has seen its share of ups and downs. Caster Semenya’s quick rise on the track in 2009 aroused criticism, and there was much discussion surrounding her sexual orientation. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) required her to undergo a sex verification test as a result to ensure that she was, in fact, a girl.
Some of the test results were leaked to the media even though they were never formally publicized. Even former athletes like Michael Johnson complained about how the IAAF handled the subject. Caster Semenya was given the all-clear in 2010 and was able to continue competing in women’s events.
Caster was a Nike brand ambassador and appeared in their advertisements, which raised some controversy for their backing of athletes. She joined other American athletes who, like her, have faced discrimination at some point in their careers, like Serena Williams and Colin Kaepernick.
She officially joined other athletes, including South African Olympians Chad le Clos and Wayde van Niekerk, as a Discovery Vitality ambassador in 2018.
The International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) classifies Caster Semenya as a DSD or intersex athlete. Despite having a greater testosterone level than most women, she hasn’t publicly acknowledged that she is an intersex woman.
She did, however, get married to her longtime partner, Violet Raseboya, in a sophisticated white wedding. The relationship between the pair exemplifies pure love because they deeply cherish one another. In 2017, they were married in a stunning traditional wedding in Ga-Dikgale, Limpopo.
The couple announced the birth of Oratile, their first child, while facing several criticisms of their relationship. They welcomed Oarabile, their second child, in 2021, and posted images of him or her on social media.
Caster constantly voices out the injustice of numerous women with differences in sexual development. She does this through public speaking, social media post and TV interview. She has appeared in some film documentaries including;
- Too Fast to be a Woman?: The Story of Caster Semenya
- Being: Caster Semenya
- Birthplace of Dreams
Caster Semenya has won many races and gotten many medals. She has participated in national, regional and global records and has performed excellently. In her World Athletics profile, she has her best runs in the 500m, 800m and 1500m races.
- 800m in the 2009 Africa Junior Championships – 1:56.72
- 1500m in the 2009 Africa Junior Championships – 4:08.01
- 800m in 2009’s World Championships – 1:55.45
- 2010 Commonwealth Games 800m – 1:58.16
- 2012 Summer Olympics – 1:57.23
- 2016 South African National Championships 400m – 50.74
- 2016 South African National Championships 800m – 1:58.45
- 2016 South African National Championships 1500m – 4:10.93
- 2016 Rio Olympics – 1:55.28
- 2017 World Championships 800m – 1:55:17
- Olympic champion – 2012/2016 IAAF
- World Athlete of the Year nominee – 2016
- World champion – 2009, 2011,
- World Championships Bronze medallist – 2017
- Commonwealth Games winner – 2008, 2018
- All-African Games winner – 2018 World (Continental) Cup winner – 2010, 2018
- South African National champion (18-time winner)
- Track & Field Athlete of the Year 2018
Caster Semenya Net Worth
Caster is one of the most respected South African athletes as she was named among the Time’s 100 Most influential people in 2019. The 31-years-old runner has earned money from being a professional runner and has a net worth to be $113 Million.