Semenya has joined Gauteng-based JVW Football Club.

By Alaa Abdeldaiem
September 06, 2019

800 meter Olympic gold medalist and world champion Caster Semenya has joined Gauteng Sasol League club JVW FC, the team announced on Thursday.

"I am grateful for this opportunity and I appreciate the love and support I already get from the team," Semenya said. "I am looking forward to this new journey, and hopefully I can contribute as much as I can to the club."

Semenya also announced the signing on Twitter on Friday.

According to the team's release, Semenya—who has long had an interest in soccer—will be training with JVW in preparation for a 2020 debut. Banyana team captain Janine van Wyk shared an image on Wednesday of Semenya standing beside her on team training grounds following the Olympian's visit as a guest player.

"I am extremely elated to have such an iconic athlete join my football club," van Wyk said. "I am absolutely honored that out of all the other women’s clubs around the world, she has chosen JVW as the club where she would like to start showcasing her football skills. I welcomed her at her first training with the team on Tuesday, and was impressed to see that she definitely has all the fundamentals. I look forward to her working with Coach Ciara and our First Team where I am sure she will sharpen up and get ready to play in 2020. Although I won’t be here for the rest of the year, as I have just signed with Fortuna Hjorring, I have no doubt that Caster will fit right in, and enjoy her time at the club."

Semenya is unable to defend her world title in Doha, Qatar, next month after the Swiss Federal Supreme Court reversed its ruling to suspend the International Association of Athletics Federation's rule on testosterone limits for women with naturally high levels of testosterone in their bodies. Semenya appealed the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on May 1 and was able to compete once in the women's 800 meters in June.

The South African star has gone undefeated in 31 consecutive 800-meter races since 2015. The last time Semenya was not the world champion was 2013, when she did not compete and Kenya's Eunice Jepkoech Sum took gold.

JVW is currently in second place in Gauteng Sasol standings.

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