Mandela meets runner at center of gender uproar

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JOHANNESBURG (AP)—Former President Nelson Mandela has congratulated South African runner Caster Semenya, whose dramatic improvement, deep voice and muscular build have sparked questions about her gender.

The International Association of Athletics Federations initiated tests on the 18-year-old athlete after she won gold in the 800-meters at the world championships in Germany.

Presidential
PRESIDENTIAL GREETING—South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, right, congratulates athlete Caster Semenya, left, during their meeting at The Presidential Guest House in Pretoria, South Africa, Aug. 25.

South Africans have rallied behind Semenya, who returned home to a hero’s welcome.

Semenya and two other medalists met briefly with Mandela in Johannesburg last week. They posed for pictures with Mandela, who turned 91 last month.

Semenya said that she had wanted to meet Mandela for a long time and that she couldn’t wait to tell her father about the visit.

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