Producing her second fastest one-lap time ever on Saturday, Caster Semenya effectively thumbed her nose at the IAAF after the athletics governing body introduced an amended hyperandrogenism rule two days earlier.
Semenya delivered a blistering run at the South African Student Championships in Sasolburg, crossing the line in first place in 50.48 seconds, just 0.08 slower than her personal best.
The middle-distance specialist raced hard to the line, beating former World Student Games champion Justine Palframan, who took second place in 51.58 with the third fastest time of her career.
The new IAAF rule would require women who produced natural testosterone levels of more than five nanomoles to either take medication to reduce it, compete in a different event or quit the sport.
While Semenya had previously suggested she could move up in distance in future, she entered the 200m event at the national student championships, and was set to compete in only her second half-lap sprint as a senior athlete on Sunday.
She set her personal best of 24.35 in Potchefstroom in March 2016.
Meanwhile, 100m hurdles ace Rikenette Steenkamp equalled her fourth fastest time in her specialist event on day one of the university champs, setting a new SA students record of 13.04.
Steenkamp had some early-season injury niggles but proved she was back to her best in only her third high hurdles race of the season, finishing well ahead of Taylon Bieldt who took second place in 13.78.
“I think I got confidence in my first race (of the year) when I clocked 13.24 because it gives you a lot to work with when you start from there,” Steenkamp said.
“I haven’t done that much hurdles work, just doing the basics so that I can compete at meetings.
“Now we can start fine-tuning and I really look forward to the season.”
In the men’s 100m final, rising talent Thembo Monareng won the race in a new personal best time of 10.18, edging a resurgent Chederick van Wyk in a photo finish, with both athletes being credited with the same time to take 0.05 off their previous lifetime bests.
Commonwealth Games 4x100m relay silver medallist Emile Erasmus, who was still a bit rusty racing in his first individual 100m this season, finished third in 10.31.
“I feel very positive about this victory. Mentally I am now stronger, so I am looking forward and I just can’t believe I have a new PB,” Monareng said.
“The goal for the season was to run a good time and qualify for the World Junior Championships.
“If it doesn’t happen, it is okay, because I am looking at the bigger picture which is to dip below 10 seconds one day.”