Caster Semenya won the 800 metres at the Doha Diamond League meeting on Friday in her first race since losing her appeal over a controversial gender ruling, claiming “actions speak louder than words”.
Two-time Olympic champion Semenya timed 1min 54.98sec to defeat Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba, who clocked 1min 57.75sec and Ajee Wilson of the United States in 1min 58.83sec.
Semenya’s victory could be her last over 800m before new IAAF rules governing testosterone levels come into operation on May 8.
However, asked if she intended to take hormone-suppressing treatment, she said: “Hell no. No way.
“I don’t know what will happen next. But no-one should tell me what to do, if people want to stop me from doing something that’s their problem, not mine.”
After setting a new meet record, she told the BBC: “Actions speak louder than words. When you’re a great champion you always deliver.
“With me, life has been simple. I’m just here to deliver for the people who love and support me.
“I’m enjoying each and every moment of my life maybe because I have the love I need from my people.”
READ: Will Doha race be Caster Semenya’s swansong?
After her win on Friday – in the same city where she hopes to feature in September’s world championships – Semenya said she was fighting a bigger battle beyond the track.
“This is all about inspiring the world. This is more than a game, more than sports. This is about human dignity, human pride. What you do if youre inspiring the world.
“People fight me, I don’t fight them. I live life and I enjoy it.”
READ: Caster Semenya: how much testosterone is too much for a female athlete?
Aleck Skhosana, president of Athletics South Africa, said Semenya’s performance had put her critics firmly in their place.
“We are excited that Caster has done what she is known for … despite all the challenges that she is facing,” said Skhosana.
“We encourage her to stay focused and do what she does best – which is to run and conquer the world.”