Cherono and Degefa claim contrasting Boston Marathon titles

By Sports Desk April 15, 2019

Lawrence Cherono secured a thrilling Boston Marathon victory in the men's race while the women's event was won in starkly contrasting fashion by Worknesh Degefa.

Running over this distance for the first time in Boston, Cherono edged out two-time winner Lelisa Desisa in a scintillating sprint to the line, the Kenyan overhauling his rival from Ethiopia and breaking the tape just two seconds ahead in a time of two hours, seven minutes and 57 seconds.

Cherono's compatriot Kenneth Kipkemoi took third, a further eight seconds back, while there was no such close finish in the elite women's race.

That was because Degefa, also competing in her first Boston Marathon, ran away from the field as early as the six-mile marker, covering the remaining 20 miles alone as she finished in a time of 2:23.31, 42 seconds clear of Edna Kiplagat while home hope Jordan Hasay (2:25.20) completed the podium.

The 123rd edition of the famous race was being contested on April 15 for the first time since the terrorist attacks at the event in 2013.

Around 30,000 runners set off from Hopkinton in damp but relatively warm conditions as the race progressed on the sixth anniversary of the bombings that killed three and injured hundreds more, some very seriously.

Since 2015, April 15 has been dubbed One Boston Day.

Meanwhile in MLB, the Red Sox – wearing uniforms with "Boston" on the front instead of the usual "Red Sox" on home whites – held a moment of silence before facing the Baltimore Orioles in the annual Patriots Day morning game.

Also at Fenway Park, two first-responders — EMT Christopher Holgate and paramedic Randall Souza — were to be honoured in the middle of the fourth inning. They were stationed near the finish line of the 2013 marathon and were among the first to provide care.

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    The South African government says it will study the judgment of the landmark legal case against the IAAF and its testosterone regulations before planning a route forward.

    Caster Semenya and Athletics South Africa (ASA), backed by the government, had a request for arbitration concerning the IAAF's eligibility rules for athletes with differences of sex development (DSD) dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Wednesday.

    The regulations require DSD athletes, such as Semenya, with naturally occurring high levels of testosterone to lower them in order to compete in women's track events from 400m to a mile.

    Although a CAS panel did consider the regulations to be "discriminatory", it ruled by majority that "such discrimination is a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF's aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics".

    The IAAF's DSD regulations, which were set to come into effect last November but were suspended pending the outcome of the CAS procedures, are now due to become active from May 8.

    This means Semenya will be required to take medication to reduce her testosterone levels in order to defend her 800m title in September's World Championships in Doha.

    However, the ruling, which referenced "some serious concerns as to the future practical applications of these DSD regulations", may be appealed at the Swiss Federal Tribunal within 30 days.

    A statement from South Africa's minister of sport and recreation Tokozile Xasa described the government's disappointment but offered Semenya encouragement and said it would now take time to consider the judgment.

    "Naturally, we are disappointed with the judgment," Xasa said. "However, we have directed ASA to request a copy of the full judgment. We will study the judgment, consider it and determine a way forward.

    "As the South African government, we have always maintained that these regulations trample on the human rights and dignity of Caster Semenya and other women athletes.

    "We will comment further after studying the full judgment."

    Xasa thanked the South African public for their support and added to Semenya: "You remain our golden girl.

    "What you have done for our people and girls is enormous. You have flown our flag high, you have united a nation and inspired a rural girl. For that, we thank you, Mokgadi."

    She also assured that both the government and ASA would keep pushing to have the regulations declared invalid and void.

    "ASA should continue to lobby other national athletics associations in other jurisdictions to internally oppose these regulations," Xasa said.

    "We, too, in government will continue to lobby through other international organsations on our opposition to these regulations and continue to put the necessary pressure on the IAAF to see the impact of these regulations on global human rights tenets and frameworks."

  • Semenya vows to 'rise above' after losing legal case against IAAF Semenya vows to 'rise above' after losing legal case against IAAF

    Caster Semenya insists she will not be held back and will "once again rise above" after losing her landmark legal case against the IAAF's testosterone regulations.

    In a ruling announced on Wednesday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed the requests for arbitration filed by Olympic 800m champion Semenya and Athletics South Africa (ASA) concerning the IAAF's eligibility rules for athletes with differences of sex development (DSD).

    The regulations, which were set to come into effect last November but were suspended pending the outcome of the CAS procedures, require DSD athletes such as Semenya with naturally-occurring high levels of testosterone to lower them in order to compete in women's track events from 400m to a mile.

    Semenya and ASA argued they should be declared invalid and void with immediate effect. Yet although a CAS panel did consider the regulations to be "discriminatory", it ruled by majority that "such discrimination is a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF's aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics".

    As a result, the IAAF's DSD regulations are set to come into effect from May 8, meaning Semenya will be required to take medication to reduce her testosterone levels in order to defend her 800m title in September's World Championships in Doha.

    The CAS ruling may be appealed at the Swiss Federal Tribunal within 30 days.

    In a statement released by her lawyers, Semenya said: "I know that the IAAF's regulations have always targeted me specifically.

    "For a decade the IAAF has tried to slow me down, but this has actually made me stronger.

    "The decision of the CAS will not hold me back. I will once again rise above and continue to inspire young women and athletes in South Africa and around the world."

    The IAAF is adamant its regulations are not targeted towards Semenya, instead arguing the distances the rules apply to were selected because the "performance advantage" of having higher levels of circulating testosterone are "most clearly seen".

    In a statement welcoming the CAS ruling, world athletics' governing body said: "The IAAF is grateful to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for its detailed and prompt response to the challenge made to its eligibility regulations for the female classification for athletes with differences of sex development, and is pleased that the regulations were found to be a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF's legitimate aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics in the restricted events.

    "For the avoidance of doubt, no athlete will be forced to undergo any assessment and/or treatment under these regulations. It is each athlete's responsibility, in close consultation with her medical team, to decide whether or not to proceed with any assessment and/or treatment."

    The CAS panel has suggested the IAAF consider deferring its application of DSD regulations to the 1500m and one mile events "until more evidence is available".

  • Semenya loses CAS appeal over IAAF testosterone rules Semenya loses CAS appeal over IAAF testosterone rules

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed Caster Semenya's appeal against the IAAF's testosterone regulations in a landmark legal case.

    South African Semenya, the double defending Olympic champion over 800 metres, and Athletics South Africa had challenged the IAAF's new regulations concerning athletes with differences of sex development (DSD).

    The rules in question require athletes with naturally-occurring high levels of testosterone to take medication to reduce those levels, in order to compete in women's track events ranging from 400m to a mile.

    The IAAF stated last year that those distances were selected because the "performance advantage" of having higher levels of circulating testosterone are "most clearly seen".

    Semenya argued the regulations were "discriminatory, unnecessary, unreliable and disproportionate" and earned backing from her national government, but on Wednesday CAS announced it had found in favour of the IAAF, meaning the 28-year-old will now have to take medication to continue competing at international level.

    The CAS ruling may be appealed at the Swiss Federal Tribunal within 30 days. The IAAF's rules are set to come into effect on May 8.

    A CAS panel found the DSD regulations to be "discriminatory", but argued they were nevertheless necessary to maintain the integrity of female athletics.

    "By majority, the CAS panel has dismissed the requests for arbitration considering that the claimants were unable to establish that the DSD regulations were 'invalid'," read an official release from CAS.

    "The panel found that the DSD regulations are discriminatory but the majority of the panel found that, on the basis of the evidence submitted by the parties, such discrimination is a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF's aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics in the restricted events."

    Semenya also competes in the 1500m, and the CAS panel recommended the IAAF defer its ruling affecting athletes racing over that distance and a mile "until more evidence is available", while also expressing "some serious concerns as to the future practical application of these DSD regulations".

    Following the announcement from CAS regarding the contentious case, the IAAF published a statement issuing its gratitude to CAS for its "detailed and prompt response to the challenge", while Semenya posted an image on Twitter bearing the words "sometimes it's better to react with no reaction".

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