South African runner Caster Semenya made her Olympic debut on Wednesday and proved that she has what it takes where it counts -- on the track.
Semenya placed third in qualifying for the women's 800 meters on Wednesday, earning a spot in the event's semifinals with a time of 2 minutes, 00.71 seconds. She finished .24 seconds behind American Alysia Johnson Montano in the fastest of six qualifying heats. Semenya was also bested by Pamela Jelimo of Kenya, who covered the distance in 2:00.54 to easily win her heat.
Semenya -- who was forced to undergo genetic testing in 2009 by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), track's international governing body -- is considered a medal contender in the 800m, and was the silver medalist at the distance at the 2011 IAAF World Championships. She also served as the flag-bearer for South Africa's Olympic delegation at the Opening Ceremony.
Semenya, Johnson Montano, Jelimo and the rest of the women's 800m semifinals will run in three heats beginning at 2:30 p.m. Eastern on Thursday.