Pic: Commonwealth Games
South Africa’s Caster Semenya wins a triumphant second gold at the Commonwealth Games, while Britain’s Tom Daley uses his win to call for LGBTQ equality.
On Friday, Semenya won the Women’s 800m final, breaking the Commonwealth Games record in the race.
The medal adds to the 27-year-old’s also-record-breaking win in the Women’s 1,500m on Tuesday at the Gold Coast in Australia. The openly-LGBT Olympic and World champion is only the third woman in Commonwealth Games history to complete the double win.
The sporting icon dedicated her victory to young woman. “This win is actually not about me but it’s for all the African girls coming from the rural areas who don’t believe this is possible,” she said, reports TeamSA. “But anything is possible… I want this to inspire them and let them believe in themselves.”
Meanwhile, Daley, 23, won a gold medal in the 10m synchronised diving event, along with teammate Dan Goodfellow.
Following the win, Daley used interviews and other platforms as an opportunity to highlight the reality that homosexuality remains illegal in many Commonwealth countries.
Speaking to the BBC, Daley said: “Coming to the Gold Coast and being able to live as an openly gay man is really important.
“You want to feel comfortable in who you are when you are standing on that diving board, and for 37 Commonwealth countries that are here participating that is not the case.
“By Birmingham and the next Commonwealth Games [in 2022], I really hope we see a decrease in that number of countries that criminalise LGBT issues,” he said.
Pic: Tom Daley / Instagram
Daley, who is expecting a surrogate baby with his husband, Hollywood scriptwriter Dustin Lance Black, shared similar sentiments on his social media.
“I feel so lucky to be able to be openly who I am without worry. I hope one day every athlete from every nation in the Commonwealth will be free to compete openly as who they are too!” he wrote on Instagram.
On Wednesday, activists delivered a petition supported by 104,115 people to Commonwealth headquarters in London demanding an end to the criminalisation of homosexuality among member countries.
They also called for laws to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination and violence in these nations and for their governments to engage with LGBTQ organisations.