All eyes were on Caster Semenya on Saturday afternoon. The South African runner has been subjected to gender testing in recent years, which has caused her to withdraw from -0 and then be reinstated into -- international competition. She won silver in the 800 meters in her first major meet following her reinstatement, at the 2011 World Championships, and she was unable to improve on that finish in London.
That's because Russia's Mariya Savinova captured the gold medal, continuing her recent domination of the event. She beat Semenya in the World Championships last year and has won five major meets since finishing fifth, well behind Semenya at the 2009 World Championships.
Savinova was understandably ecstatic after the race. "It's just amazing," she said. "Right now I can't feel anything, but I'm amazed. It's been hard work, but it's the Olympics."
While Semenya was quite content with her performance, she indicated that her coach was less pleased with her second place finish. "I am happy with the result," said Semenya. "I left it a bit late, but I am happy with the silver. But my coach is not really happy."
In a surprising development, Russia's Ekaterina Poistogova finished in third place to capture the bronze medal. She was the slowest qualifier for the final and had to run a personal best time to grab a medal. The defending Olympic champion in the event, Pamela Jemelo, finished in fourth place while American Alysia Johnson Montano finished fifth.