Semenya second in heat on Olympic debut

11:31, Aug 08 2012
Caster Semenya
MEDAL CHANCE: Caster Semenya of South Africa in her 800m heat.

Making her Olympic debut three years after being forced to undergo gender tests, Caster Semenya of South Africa has finished second in her 800-metre heat.

Semenya was sidelined for nearly a year while track and field's governing body, the IAAF, decided whether to allow her to compete after she won the 2009 world title at age 18.

She was tested and eventually cleared to return to action in 2010, then was the runner-up at last year's world championships.

Semenya carried South Africa's flag at the opening ceremonies in London and is a leading medal contender in the 800.

She ran her heat in 2 minutes, 0.71 seconds, behind the 2:00.47 run by Alysia Johnson Montano of the United States.