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Kate Grace Finishes 8th in the Olympic 800 Meter Finals Behind Caster Semenya

Santa Monica Resident is the daughter of 1980's fitness guru Kathy Smith

 

August 22, 2016

Facebook/ Patrick O'Neill

Caster Semenya in green, and Kate Grace in blue run the 800 Meter finals. Also pictured is Britain's Lynsey Sharp, who finished 4th.

Santa Monica resident Kate Grace has finished 8th in the finals of the 800 Meters. Her time was 159.59 seconds, a very respectable time and only 4.29 seconds behind the winner, muscular South African Caster Semenya, whose time was 155.28.

The race itself was exciting, with so many top runners crossing the line nearly at once--far behind Semenya. Francine Niyonsaba from Burundi finished second at 156.49, and Margaret Wambui from Kenya took the Bronze at 156.89.

The middle distance runner is 27, and often seen working out in Palisades Park. She is sponsored by women's clothing manufacturer Oiselle.

Grace graduated from Marlborough High School, then went to Yale University.

"Nothing she does surprises me," Yale coach David Schoehalter told Sportz Edge. "But that doesn't take away from her accomplishment. When she was at Yale, it was clear that she was a special kid."

While at Yale, Grace set four school records and made it to the NCAA championships in the 800 and 1,500-meter races. She was also a four-time NCAA All-American while at Yale.

Frank Gagliano, the 79 year old running coach from New York Track Club, accompanied Grace to the 2016 Olympics. "A big driving factor for me is to give him an Olympic medal," she told ESPN.

Kate Grace after finishing 8th at tonight's 800 Meter women's final.

"He's been incredible," Grace said of Gagliano. "He comes from coaching football and is very inspiring. He brings out the excitement and passion in training."

Kate Grace initially took up middle distance running for basketball and soccer endurance training. She says her mother did not push her into running, but somehow, she found her way tot he Olympics.

A note about Semenya : Court of Arbitration for Sport, the Swiss-based high court for international sport, suspended track and field’s testosterone policy for two years.

The court said it had been “unable to conclude that hyperandrogenic female athletes may benefit from such a significant performance advantage that it is necessary to exclude them from competing in the female category.”

 

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