Eyebrows were scowled during the women’s 400-meter hurdles at the American Championship of the NCAA (National College Athletic Association). The athlete Cece Telfer, born and raised as Craig, won with great ease. It even touches Donald Trump (“a shame!”) And feeds the debate about testosterone suppression that also applies to hyperandrogenic athlete Caster Semenya.
Before joining the Franklin Pierce University women’s team this year, Telfer was a mediocre athlete who didn’t even come close to qualifying for that national NCAA championship. In 2016 and 2017 she clocked out as 200th and 390th athlete among the male hurdlers in the 400 m respectively, after which she stayed out of competition for a year to return as a transgender.
Now she is the national champion, with a time of 57.53 and much ahead of the number two (59.21). She ran almost as fast as a woman than as a man (57.34), despite the fact that the women’s hurdles are 15 centimeters lower.
Unlike the International Athletics Federation, where the rule applies that transsexual athletes must demonstrate that their testosterone levels have remained below 10 nanomoles per liter of urine for a year before the start of their first official competition. For example, there is no question of an upper limit or a minimum amount of compulsory medication to be taken, let alone how this is controlled.
According to the theory, the results should suffer from such a hormonal treatment, but that is clearly not the case with Telfer. Even on the 60 m hurdles, there is hardly any difference between her times. (7.67 versus 7.63 as a woman).
As a man, I could not say that he did his best, as a woman she is a model athleteZach Emerson, coach of CeCe Telfer
However, according to her coach, Zach Emerson, much more than just the times should be looked at, to state that the rule is not correct. He mentions that Telfer is a lot more motivated as a woman, trains much harder and also lives a lot more for her sport. “As a man, I could not say that he did his best, as a woman she is a model athlete,” said Emerson. “She has not yet missed a training day and remains focused on her studies.”
But the criticism is harsh. Even Donald Trump had to express his opinion about it. “This is a man! A major disgrace to the other young girls who have been training for years to be top. Give everyone their own identity as much as possible, but this goes too far and is not fair,” said the president.
Some competing athletes are already standing on the hind legs. “In athletics, there is currently too little protection in the women’s divisions at the highest level,” said Australian Olympian Tamsyn Manou. “This is not about gender identity, but the biological benefit is just too big.” Jane Flemming joins her countryman. “They have greater muscle strength and muscle mass and can also absorb more oxygen. Not fair!”