Calm and composed, Caster Semenya spoke confidently to a small crowd in Rosebank on Wednesday, insisting she was hardly fazed by the swinging axe which hung over her career while she awaited a decision from a Swiss court on controversial gender regulations.
Suspended from competing internationally over her best range of distances, from 400m to the mile (1 609m), Semenya made a statement by setting an unofficial national record of 36.78 seconds in the 300m event at the University of Johannesburg last month.
Just five months out from the Tokyo Olympics, however, where she hoped to defend her 800m title, the middle-distance star remained uncertain whether she would be allowed to compete over her specialist two-lap distance this season.
“I always tell people that I’m supernatural,” Semenya said at the launch of Bridgestone’s ‘Chase your Dream, No Matter What’ campaign in the build-up to the Tokyo Games.
“I don’t stress about things I can’t control. That’s the philosophy of my life.
“Sometimes people are surprised by the way I carry myself, but I take things easy. I don’t panic, don’t rush. I just chill, relax and allow things to happen.
“It’s a simple philosophy, but that’s me.”
Despite her indefinite international ban, Semenya was expected to compete at domestic level again this year.
And, regardless of the pending decision around the World Athletics rule which restricted hyperandrogenic athletes, with the matter currently resting in the hands of the Swiss Supreme Court, Semenya also had the option of contesting the 200m sprint or the 5 000m long-distance event.
Though both those distances fell outside the limits of the World Athletics regulation, however, her real potential to qualify for the Olympics remained unclear in either event.