Caster Semenya knew she had blown it by starting out too slowly in her first Olympic final.
She knew her coach was going to criticize her. Based on her experience over the last three, difficult years, she also expected some unkind speculation about her performance in the 800 meters.
But she cherished her silver medal all the same. Three years after being forced to undergo gender tests after winning the world title in a stunningly fast 1 minute, 55.45 seconds at age 18, Semenya can introduce herself as an Olympic medalist.
Semenya was sidelined for nearly a year while track and field's governing body decided whether to allow her to compete. She was tested and eventually cleared to return to action in 2010, then was the runner-up at last year's world championships.
She came to the London Games as a leading medal contender in the 800 and was even given the honor of carrying South Africa's flag into the opening ceremony.
She slipped into last place at the start of the final and, ev...