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“Caster Semenya”


Iron Roots Athlete Tribute WOD

799 32
  • 8 Rounds for Time
  • Every 1:55, complete:
  • 200 meter Run
  • 5 Double Push-Up Burpees
  • 6 Jump Squats to Target (12 in above reach)

With a running clock, complete 8 rounds of the prescribed work in the order written as fast as possible (“For Time“). Start a new round every 1 minute and 55 seconds.

Score is the time on the clock when the last round of the Jump Squats to Target is completed.

Movement Standards

Double Push-Up Burpee: This is a variation of the standard Burpee wherein athlete will perform an additional Push-Up after the chest hits the ground before standing up.

Jump Squat to Target: This is a variation of the standard Air Squat wherein athlete will jump at full extension and hit the target overhead to count as one rep.

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namesake photo

Background: This workout is dedicated to Caster Semenya who was born on January 7, 1991 in Pietersburg, South Africa. She is an elite middle-distance runner.

Caster won gold in the women’s 800 meters at the 2009 World Championships with a time of 1:55.45, the 2016 Summer Olympics, and the 2017 World Championships in her new personal best, 1:55.16. She was awarded gold medals at the 2011 World Championships and the 2012 Summer Olympics, all in the 800 meters.

Semenya is an intersex cisgender woman, assigned female at birth, with XY chromosomes and naturally elevated testosterone levels due to a 5 alpha-reductase deficiency. Following her victory at the 2009 World Championships, it was announced that she had been subjected to sex testing. She was withdrawn from international competition until July 6, 2010 when the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) cleared her to return.

In 2019, new IAAF rulers came into force preventing women such as Semenya from participating in 400m, 800m, 1,500m events unless they take medication to lower their testosterone levels. 

On February 25, 2021, her lawyer announced that she would appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. Semenya was named one of Time magazine’s Most Influential People of 2019.

This workout was designed by SayKay Brown @saykay.brown, co-founder of CrossFit HCS @crossfit_hcs (Ferndale, MI, USA) and co-creator of Iron Roots Athlete @iron.roots.athlete as part of their celebration for the Black History Month in February. Their mission for this celebration is to educate people on lesser-known athletes who have helped to shape and influence American Sports.

They encourage you to do continued research and follow up with their action items through donation, volunteering, and most importantly being active in your allyship.

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