DENIED? Ferdinand Omanyala out of World Athletics Championships over visa delay KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Thursday, July 14, 2022

DENIED? Ferdinand Omanyala out of World Athletics Championships over visa delay

Africa's fastest man Ferdinand Omanyala will not be competing in the upcoming World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, because he did not receive his visa on time to travel to the United States, his spokesperson said on Thursday.

The Kenyan sprinter was included in the entry list for the 100m event at the championships, which begin on Friday.

"Sadly, I won't be participating in this year's world championships in Oregon. I did not get my visa in time for travel," Omanyala said in a statement via his spokesperson.

"Ferdinand is still waiting for his visa or alternative clearance to depart from Nairobi," a spokesperson for Omanyala told Reuters.

"It is frustrating but he remains hopeful to make the trip."

The 26-year-old won the African 100m title last month and was the first Kenyan to qualify for the Olympic 100m semi-finals in Tokyo last year.

The World Championships begin on Friday and last until 24 July, and Athletics Kenya executive member Barnabas Korir says several other athletes have also been affected by visa delays.
"We are anxiously waiting for the US embassy to issue visas for a number of athletes, including Omanyala. Hopefully they will be able to fly out today," Korir told AFP.

He wears two wristbands on his right arm: one, made of black and green beads, bears the numbers 9:85, his season-best 100m time set in May.

The other, a bracelet crafted from leather and metal, is inscribed with 9:77, the African record he set last September. It made him the ninth fastest man ever, behind four Americans and three Jamaicans.

Making the podium in Eugene would be an historic first for an African runner.

Namibia's Frankie Fredericks twice won Olympic silver in the 100m in the 1990s, but his one gold and three silvers in the World Championships were all over 200m.

Omanyala said he has set his sights on at least reaching the final on July 16.

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