Caster Semenya welcomed home with Olympic gold

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South Africa’s Olympic competitors, including 800-metre gold medallist Caster Semenya, receive a rapturous welcome as they return to Johannesburg

Caster Semenya welcomed home with Olympic gold

SHOWS: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (AUGUST 23, 2016) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)

1. SOUTH AFRICAN OLYMPIC ATHLETES, LED BY CASTER SEMENYA, WALKING INTO THE AIRPORT TERMINAL

2. A LARGE CROWD OF PEOPLE STANDING INSIDE THE O.R. TAMBO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT WITH A BANNER READING (English): “Well Done! #teamSArise”

3. ATHLETES LISTENING TO MBALULA, WITH CASTER SEMNYA ON THE RIGHT

4. CASTER SEMENYA WEARING HER GOLD MEDAL

5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SOUTH AFRICAN SPORTS MINISTER, FIKILE MBALULA SAYING:

“You kept your promise, the people of South Africa, young and old watched you and gave you support, when they were tormenting you. If they’re tormenting you, there’s no place like home – rea o rata (we love you) Caster! You will be our Caster now and forever more.”

6. ATHLETES STANDING TOGETHER FOR A PHOTOGRAPH

7. YOUNG SCHOOL KIDS WAVING THE SOUTH AFRICAN FLAG AND SCREAMING (English): “SA Team!”

STORY: South African athletes returned from the Rio Olympics to a warm welcome at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo airport on Tuesday (August 23).

The group, including women’s 800m gold medallist Caster Semenya, were welcomed by Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula alongside crowds of cheering fans.

Mbalula congratulated the athletes, reserving special praise for Semenya and fellow gold medallist Wayde van Niekerk, who broke the men’s 400m world record at the Games. Van Niekerk did not return with the squad from Rio.

The minister also spoke out against critics of Semenya who has had to contend with renewed controversies about her gender.

“If they’re tormenting you, there’s no place like home – rea o rata (we love you) Caster! You will be our Caster now and forever more,” said Mbalula.

After winning the 2009 world title as a 19-year-old, tests reportedly revealed that she is hyperandrogenous, resulting in her body producing an abnormally high amount of testosterone, which makes her more powerful than her rivals.

The minister also awarded gold, silver and bronze medallists with extra cash bonuses for their hard work.

South Africa scored a total of ten medals at the Olympics.

Tags : gold, olympic, with, home, welcomed, Semenya, Caster

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