The 27-year-old, the reigning double Olympic and world champion over 800m, clocked a Games-record time of 4mins 00.71secs to demolish the South African mark of 4:01.81 set by Budd in 1984.
But cheers rang out at the Carrara Stadium yesterday when Semenya was introduced, while she received a standing ovation as she crossed the line, signifying how much can change in nearly 10 years.
Semenya ran the ideal tactical race as she sat back within striking distance before unleashing a devastating surge over the final 200m. "I'm excited still for the 5km because I feel I'm in really good 5km shape and I really want to prove it".
In the home straight, Courtney passed Linden Hall, the Australian with the home support, to have the race of her life.
"But I just couldn't go with that pace today and it went out from the gun".
"I tried to build again and I thought I did a reasonable job, I felt like I started to move back through", he said.
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Considering it a missed opportunity, he added: "I think it doesn't take a brain surgeon to see that I should have been fighting for medals here". Mary Kuria (4:05.88) finished ninth. It's my first proper champs at senior level and it's so promising to have a training partner with a bronze medal.
South Africa celebrated a one-two in the men's 100m final on Monday and it was the turn of Semenya to put on a show the following night.
Jamaica still had success on the track, with Ronald Levy and former world silver medallist Hansle Parchment taking gold and silver in the 110m hurdles ahead of Australia's Nick Hough.
There will also not be any British athletes in the women's 400m final as Scotland's Zoey Clark and England's Anyika Onuora and Emily Diamond each placed fourth in their semi-finals so will not advance.
Veronica Mutua and Gladys Musyoki failed to qualify for the final, Mutua finishing bottom of her heat in 54.85 while Musyoki was seventh in her semi clocking 54.40. Jamaica's Anastasia Le-Roy went fastest overall with 51.08, while her team-mate Stephenie Ann McPherson, the reigning champion, ran 51.21.
South Africa's Caster Semenya celebrates after winning the gold medal.
No home nations athletes were in action in the men's 400m final as Botswana's Isaac Makwala justified his tag as favourite with a dominant victory in 44.35.