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Caster makes IAAF shortlist

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The treble world champion and two-time Olympic gold medallist said her main goal was establishing herself as one of the world’s greatest track stars

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Track queen Caster Semenya has been nominated for the IAAF Female World-Athlete-of-the-Year award, making the shortlist of 10 nominees.

It is the third consecutive year that she is among the initial nominees and she will be looking to make the final short-list of five athletes following a three-way voting process which closes on November 12.

Semenya did not made it past the initial voting stages in the past two years.

Speaking at the recent Discovery Vitality sponsorship announcement, Semenya said she did not value awards but instead cherished the titles and medals on offer on the global stage.

“But when it comes to performance, no-one can take it away from you,” she said.

The treble world champion and two-time Olympic gold medallist said her main goal was establishing herself as one of the world’s greatest track stars.

“My main focus is being able to be consistent in running good times, especially the 800 metres,” she said.

“If I can run consistent times of 1:54/1:55 it would be the best thing I can do as an athlete to become the greatest middle-distance runner of all time.

She will go up against a host of global female superstars which include Colombian horizontal jumps specialist Caterine Ibarguen, Kenyan steeplechaser Beatrice Chepkoech and Bahamian sprinter Shaunae Miller-Uibo.

Semenya’s incredible versatility and absolute dominance in the 800 metres in 2018 make her one of the favourites to make the shortlist.

She will be looking to walk in the footsteps of former world high jump champion Hestrie Cloete, who won the coveted accolade in 2003.

The South Africa track sensation racked up the accolades this year winning the 800-1500m double gold at the Commonwealth Games, the 400-800m double at the African Championships, the 800m Diamond Trophy and the Continental Cup title in her specialist two-lap event.

She was unbeaten in her nine 800m finals including the Commonwealth Games, African Championships, Diamond League final and Continental Cup.

Semenya and the IAAF are embroiled in a bitter battle over the global athletics body’s female eligibility rules.

The controversial rules that intend to regulate women that produce naturally high testosterone have been put on ice until March.

The IAAF council and the IAAF family will cast their votes by email while fans can vote online via the IAAF’s social media platforms. – Ockert de Villiers