Tuesday, 27th September 2022
<To guardian.ng
Search
Breaking News:

Michael Johnson laments over U.S. visa delay for athletes, journalists, others

By Gowon Akpodonor with Agency report
16 July 2022   |   3:55 am
Multiple gold medallist, United States’ Michael Johnson, is unhappy with the difficulties athletes are going through in their bid to secure visa to attend the Oregon 2022 World Championship, which began yesterday in Eugene.

• Not All Competitors Will Have Their Visa Issues Resolved In Time, Says Lord Coe
• Nigeria’s Rosemary Chukwuma Misses 100m Event

Multiple gold medallist, United States’ Michael Johnson, is unhappy with the difficulties athletes are going through in their bid to secure visa to attend the Oregon 2022 World Championship, which began yesterday in Eugene.

Around 100 athletes, coaches and officials, including journalists are still waiting for their cases to be resolved – with many of their applications expected to fail – and Johnson, who won four Olympic gold medals and eight World Championships gold medals in his career, has criticised organisers in his homeland.

“This would never happen in a truly professional sport!” the BBC Sport pundit tweeted regarding Omanyala’s case.

World Athletics president, Lord Coe admitted yesterday saying that not all competitors will have their visa issues resolved in time to appear at the World Athletics Championships.

African 100m champion, Ferdinand Omanyala, may miss the heats of the men’s 100m after the Kenyan only obtained his visa a day before the start of his event.

“We will work right up to the last minute but will we be able to resolve all those issues in time for the start of competition? No, we won’t be,” Lord Coe told BBC Sport Africa.

“Coe said these World Champs are an opportunity to grow the sport in the US. But gave no strategy.

Ivory Coast sprinter Marie Josee Ta Lou also took to social media to speak out on behalf of her fellow athletes, imagining their frustration having worked so hard to be at the championships.

This year’s World Championships in Oregon are the first to be held in the United States, with the country’s strict entry requirements providing another hurdle to some foreign competitors.

Kenyan 10,000m runner Sheila Chepkirui is due to race today, but said she still did not have the required stamp in her passport despite having her visa approved in May.

Meanwhile, Nigerian sprinter, Rosemary Chukwuma has been ruled out of the 100m heat event today due to the delay in getting her visa at the U.S embassy in Abuja.

An official of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) told The Guardian yesterday that Chukwuma got her visa on Thursday, and would only compete in the 200m and 4x100m relay.

“I hope she will get to Oregon on time to be part of the 200m heat on Sunday. She is already out of the 100m event,” the official stated.

All four Nigerian journalists accredited by World Athletics to cover the championship are yet to get their visa.