Daily Archive: August 28, 2009

SOUTH-AFRICA-SEMENYA_reed

International

South African villagers praise world champion

by Donna BrysonAssociated Press WriterGA-MASEHLONG, South Africa (AP) — Caster Semenya’s grandmother remembers begging for money from friends and relatives to send the young runner to local track meets. On Friday she marveled at how far her granddaughter had come. CHAMPION CELEBRATED–South African athlete Caster Semenya, left, laughs with her grandmother Maphuthi Sekgala, right, during a celebration at the Ga-Masehlong village in Moletjie, 65km from Polokwane, South Africa, Friday Aug. 28, 2009. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe) Semenya — the world’s new 800-meter champion — returned home to the village of Ga-Masehlong, where houses are of mud or concrete, and roofed with thatch or tin. Here, residents refused to let questions about her gender dampen their celebrations of her Aug. 19 victory in Germany. Villagers broke into song as Semenya arrived, and children swarmed around her with cheers.