A day of twists and turns by Ferdinand Umanila. Kenyan sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala, who holds the African 100m record in 9sec 77/100e, announced Thursday morning that he cannot go to the World Athletics Championships, which begins Friday in Eugene, Oregon (the states), who have not yet obtained a visa. “I gave up on my trip to Oregon. Even if I get a visa today, it is too late,” the 26-year-old said.
“It’s over. There’s nothing I can do. It’s been the longest day waiting (in my life) and I don’t like waiting.”
On Wednesday morning, the runner announced on social media that he was still waiting for his visa “late”. But a few hours later, Omanyla finally got a visa at the last minute and will take part in the world championship, his coach announced. “Omanyala was called to the Sports Ministry this morning (Thursday) and I got a visa to travel,” said Duncan Ayimba, the athlete’s coach. He should run away from this [jeudi] Tomorrow evening to arrive in Oregon tomorrow morning. »
Other athletes involved?
The sprinter is one of the contenders for the 100m podium at the 2022 World Championships, which are scheduled to take place on Friday, and the semi-finals and final on Saturday. He finished third in the 100m world record with a 9sec 85/100 in May, eight months after setting a new African record. At the Tokyo Olympics last summer, he was the first athlete from Kenya, a country known for its long-distance runners, to reach the Olympic semi-finals in the 100m.
It was not possible to know the exact number of members of the Kenyan delegation who did not obtain visas on Thursday. Part of the team flew to the United States on Tuesday. “We are eagerly awaiting visas from the US Embassy for a number of athletes, including Umanyala,” Barnabas Kurier, a member of the Executive Committee of the Kenya Athletics Federation, said on Wednesday. I hope they can fly today [mercredi]. »
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