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1 DAY TO GO! Omanyala yet to get USA visa

Ferdinand Omanyala crossing the finish line clocking 10.02 in the Men's 100meters finals during trials for Tokyo olympic games at Kasarani stadium, June 17, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Africa 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyala’s bid to strike a medal at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, in USA is in doubt.

Omanyala, the Africa champion, had not secured a US visa by last evening. It was a day of anxious moments as he kept checking and holding his phone awaiting a call from the US embassy.

He’s the only athlete who had not secured the visa by last evening. Some of the national team officials that include Athletics Kenya president Jack Tuwei, National Olympic Committee president Paul Tergat, team doctor Victor Bargoria and team manager Rono Bunei had also not received visas by the time of going to press.

Others are physiotherapists Jessica Shiraku, John Muraya and Japheth Kariakim.

Omanyala said he was still optimistic of traveling to USA even though his event (100m) is lined up for heats on  Saturday at 2am.

“It’s really sad. I have kept holding my phone hoping to receive a call from the embassy. I have left everything to God,” said Omanyala.

Omanyala and five other team officials are still holed up in Nairobi with hope of getting the travelling documents.

Athletics Kenya officials expected the situation will be resolved yesterday to enable the athletes to travel last night.

The first batch left on Monday including the reigning world 1,500m Timothy Cheruiyot, the second lot consisting of Wycliffe Kinyamal, Emmanuel Korir, Margaret Chelimo, Beatrice Chebet, Sheila Chepkurui left on Tuesday night.

The team will be seeking to surpass the performance they had at the last edition in Doha, Qatar.