Olympic medalist wants DSD athlete category for track and field events
from Kenya Marguerite Wambui recently stated that she believes World Athletics (WA) should introduce a new category to track races specifically for athletes like her with Sexual Developmental Differences (DSD). Wambui won bronze in the 800m at the Rio Olympics, but a decision by WA that took effect in 2019 prevents him and any other DSD athlete from competing in the 400m per mile due to their abnormally high, but natural testosterone levels. The move allows DSD athletes to compete outside of that middle distance umbrella, but Wambui hasn’t raced since WA enacted it.
“It’s wrong to prevent people from using their talents.”
World Athletics prohibits athletes with DSD from running between 400m and 1 mile, claiming that high testosterone gives an unfair advantage.
But what are the options for Kenyan Margaret Wambui and Ugandan Annet Negesa? pic.twitter.com/Za7Kl1JmRb
– BBC News Africa (@BBCAfrica) June 4, 2021
In addition to being allowed to participate in races of less than 400m or longer than one kilometer, DSD athletes have the option of taking medication to lower their testosterone levels to what WA considers “fair”. Wambui recently told BBC Sport Africa that she never considered taking this route. This means she won’t be able to run the 800m for the rest of her elite career – unless WA makes a change.
RELATED: Francine Niyonsaba Runs Olympic 10,000m Standard at Ethiopian Trials
“It would be nice if a third category for athletes with high testosterone were introduced, because it is wrong to prevent people from using their talents,” Wambui said in the BBC interview. “We would be the first to compete in this category, so we can motivate others who hide their condition. We could show them that it’s not their fault, that this is how they were created and that they didn’t do anything wrong. According to the BBC, WA said there were no plans to create a third category for track events.
World Athletics should introduce a third category of events to allow competitors with high testosterone levels to compete in their favorite disciplines, said Kenyan 800m runner Margaret Wambui.
– 263Chat.com 🇿🇼 (@ 263Chat) June 3, 2021
“It should be noted that athletes with this disease represent 0.7% of the elite female athlete population, so a third category may not be viable in many events,” a WA said in a statement. sent to the BBC.
Wambui, who is only 25, has only competed in the Olympics once, and although she would have been a favorite for a medal in the 800m again in Tokyo, she will not compete in any of the Games. race. South Africa Caster Semenya and Burundi France Niyonsaba, the two women who beat Wambui in Rio, are also DSD athletes, but unlike Wambui, they both turned to other events.
RELATED: Caster Semenya Runs PB, Misses 22-Second 5,000m Olympic Standard in South Africa
“It’s sad to see that not all of the podium will be there,” said Wambui. “They cut our careers short because it wasn’t our plan. I feel bad not to participate in the Olympics because of [the] Rules of the world of athletics.
Keep calm and train – exactly what I have been doing since May 2019. On my way to Kenya now for further training so I can give my best in Tokyo. Hard work pays off. So let’s work hard and stay focused. #RoadtoTokyo pic.twitter.com/8oJGAasViJ
– Francine Niyonsaba (@ FrancineNiyons4) June 9, 2021
Semenya, who won gold in Rio, first tested her skills in the 200m, but more recently she entered the 5,000m. Weeks before the Olympic qualifying window closes before the Tokyo Games, Semenya is still well below the Olympic standard of 3:10 pm (she has a PB of 3:32:15). Niyonsaba was much more successful in the longer races, with Olympic qualifying times (and Burundian national records) in both the 5,000m (14: 54.38) and 10,000m (31:08, 51).
Although Wambui did not move on to another event in time to potentially qualify for this year’s Games, she told the BBC that she plans to train for the 5,000m. “It will be painful to watch the Olympics on TV knowing that I would have been able to qualify,” she said. “But I’m going to watch [the Games] because sport is in my blood.