Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
2 minute read
6 Jun 2021
8:05 am

Niyonsaba lining up in Tokyo will be a victory for DSD athletes

Wesley Botton

For Caster Semenya, there is still some work to do if she hopes to line up alongside the Burundian at the Games, with her court battle unlikely to be concluded before the showpiece takes place.

South African Caster Semenya (left) stands next to Burundian Francine Niyonsaba after competing in a women's 2,000m race in France in 2019. While the Burundian will line up in Tokyo, Semenya is yet to qualify for the Games in the 5,000m. Picture: Geoffroy van der Hasselt / AFP

Though officials and rules have created hurdles every step of the way, at least one athlete with differences of sexual development (DSD) will compete on the track at the Tokyo Olympics. She won't be contesting her specialist event, as she would no doubt prefer, but in a small personal victory over a system which has tried to keep her down, Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi will line up without taking hormone suppressants. While Caster Semenya continues to fight World Athletics gender rules in court, she and Niyonsaba have been locked in a determined battle to compete at the Games regardless of...