Francine Niyonsaba becomes first athlete with DSD to break world record


Sean Ingle

  • Burundian runner breaks 2,000m world record in Zagreb
  • Niyonsaba is an athlete with difference in sexual development

Track and field history was made in Zagreb on Tuesday night as Francine Niyonsaba became the first athlete who has identified herself as having a difference of sex development (DSD) to officially break a world record.

The Burundian did it in style, shattering the old 2,000m best by more than two seconds as she crossed the line in 5:21.26. While the 2,000m is not run frequently, Niyonsaba’s performance will inevitably reignite the debate over athletes with DSDs, given they are barred from competing internationally between 400m and 1600m unless they take medication to reduce their high testosterone.

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