Cape Town – Caster Semenya hopes to fulfil a lifelong dream when she lands in Monaco for the illustrious Laureus World Sports Awards, to be held later this month.
The current Olympic and world 800m champion is one of the six women nominated for the Sportswoman of the Year award.
Semenya had a stellar 2017 season as she smashed the world record in the rarely-run 600 metres in Berlin and successfully defending her 800m title at the IAAF Diamond League.
In August last year, the South African took home gold and bronze at the 2017 IAAF World Championship in London.
This form, consecutive podium finishes and her resilience lead Semenya to her Laureus nomination.
“What I can say, it’s a dream come true,” said the 27-year-old.
“You know, as an athlete, obviously we have goals, we have dreams, but this is one of the dreams that I dreamed, you know, from young, watching sportsmen and sportswomen on top of the world, being nominated. And then (to be able to say) say one day, if I can be there, I will be fulfilled.”
However, Semenya will be up against some tough competition if she is to secure the elusive world sports award.
Tennis superstar Serena Williams, fellow athlete Allyson Felix, swimmer Katie Ledecky, skier Mikaela Shiffrin and Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza are the other sportswomen nominated alongside the South African.
An overwhelmed Semenya admitted that she already “feels like a winner” being selected among the world’s best.
“Those are great sportswomen. Great in what they do. I respect their work and follow their work. They are phenomenal and are strong. What I can say, I have one word for them: They are fantastic,” she said.
“I feel blessed, privileged to be among a list of great women like that. So what I can say is may they keep working hard and God bless them. Being nominated with the best, I feel like I am a winner already.”
The winners, as voted for by members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, will be revealed in Monaco on February 27.