Gold Coast 2018: Caster Semenya fighting for her life after snake bite


The athlete has been hospitalized after being bitten by a brown snake while playing with a dog on her hotel compound.

South Africa’s Middle distance runner Caster Semenya was bitten on the finger in a hotel while playing with a dog in the compound on Wednesday night.

“She went to play with this small dog barking and found the dog to have a small brown snake in his mouth,” Sergeant Josh McKenzie said.

“She’s then gone to try and separate the dog from the snake and was bitten on the finger.”

Hotel employees administered first aid before Ambulance arrived to take her to the hospital.

“Some anti-venom and attempts to resuscitate were applied but unfortunately she still has to be hospitalized,” Sergeant McKenzie said.

SASCOC acting chief executive Patience Shikwambana confirmed the incident and said she is “saddened”.

Caster Semenya, a two-time Olympic gold medallist, is the headline of the country’s team in Australia.

Brown snake bite deaths rare

Brown snakes are among the most deadly in the world, however fatal bites remain uncommon in Australia.

About 300 people are bitten by snakes in Australia each year, but between 2000 and 2016, only 35 died.

Sergeant McKenzie said snakes were “protected fauna” and could not be legally killed unless someone was in imminent danger.

Dan Rumsey, from the Australian Reptile Park in Sydney, said brown snakes were the world’s second most venomous terrestrial snakes.

He said most snakes were scared of humans and would generally only bite if felt threatened.

“Venom travels through your lymphatic system,” he said.

“You need to put pressure on the wound and the limb that has been bitten. Most people are bitten on the hands or ankles.

“As ridiculous as it sounds, you need to stay calm. That will slow down the circulation, getting to hospital as quick as you possibly can.”