DOHA — Uganda’s Halimah Nakaayi has profited from f the absence of defending champion Caster Semenya to win the 800m.
She took the gold with a sprint finish to complete the race in 1min 58.04 seconds with USA’s Raevyn Rogers taking silver in 1:58.18.
Two summers ago, Nakaayi did not even qualify for the final in Rio, finishing only sixth in her semi.
Her winning time last night of 1min 58.04sec was almost four seconds outside Semenya’s personal best.
As a contest, the women’s 800m is now unrecognisable from the decade of Semenya’s dominance since 2009, when she first burst to global attention with gold in Berlin.
Raevyn Rogers, another American, also sped past Wilson to take silver. Wilson also won bronze in London two years ago.
Caster Semenya, the titleholder and three-times champion, did not take part after challenging the IAAF’s recently-introduced testosterone regulations.
The South African lost her appeal at the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) against the rules that mean middle distance female athletes with a high natural level of testosterone must take medication to reduce it.
She then appealed to the Swiss Federal Tribunal which initially allowed her to continue competing while she awaited its final verdict but then reversed that decision after hearing from the IAAF, ruling her out of the championships.
Wilson had won six of eight races outdoors this season, including the U.S. title — her 10th overall — and Diamond League stops in Stockholm, Monaco and Birmingham and Brussels, making her the obvious favorite.
The 25-year-old looked set to continue her dominance as she led from the start.
But, after having to fend off attacks during the first lap, she was unable to repel another from Nakaayi who sped past down the final straight to claim Uganda’s first medal of the championships.
Winnie Nanyondo who was also a finalist managed to make the fourth position. ?