How NOC-K bungled entry bids for sprint star and high jumper: US-base 200m national record holder, Carvin Nkanata and high jumper Matthew Sawe recount their ordeal in the hands of officials

Caption From left, Ukraine's Ihor Bodrov, Germany's Julian Reus, United States' Lashawn Merritt, France's Christophe Lemaitre and Carvin Nkanata of Kenya compete in a men's 200-meter heat during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) Summary From left, Ukraine's Ihor Bodrov, Germany's Julian Reus, United States' Lashawn Merritt, France's Christophe Lemaitre and Carvin Nkanata of Kenya compete in a men's 200-meter heat during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

For US-based sprinter Carvin Nkanata, it was a case of resilience, passion and the spirit of never giving up that saw him compete at the Rio Olympics Games and earn the title an 'Olympian'.

Nkanata arrived at the Olympics venue a week before the athletics programme started, only to be kicked out because of what the authorities said lack of credentials to represent the country in the 200m.  Yet, the said credentials were sent to Carolina USA, where he lives.

The distraught sprinter spent a few days in a hotel hoping that his case would be sorted out by the National Olympics Committee-Kenya (NOC-K), led by Stephen Arap Soi, who is Team Kenya's Chef de Mission.

The 25-year-old Nkanata (pictured) went back to the US after failing to receive communication from NOC-K. He blamed them for killing his dream.  

On reaching home, he got his accreditation that was sent there and tried to reach out to Arap Soi to follow up on his appeal, but he got no reply. Arap Soi only reacted after Nkanata went public again.

"Why doesn't NOC-K want to do an appeal process? I have since found the lost credentials. I told the chef de mission Stephen Arap Soi, so why can't I run?" he wrote in his letter sent to K24 TV's sports desk.

That is the point his appeal process started. And with less than 24 hours to 200m preliminary heats on August 15, he wrote on his Facebook page: "Currently enroute back to Rio!!! Praying I am cleared to compete before the heats begin tomorrow."

Nkanata eventually reached Rio with less than four hours to the event and was allowed to compete.

"Man, these last 10 days have been challenging!! Even when things seemed nearly impossible, I made it possible...I kept fighting and never gave up! I could not let my dream pass me up. I went from being denied to compete to ultimately fulfilling my dream to run. I thank you all for the love and support during this experience," he wrote on his Facebook page.

Athletics Kenya Executive member Barnaba Korir said Nkanata's case was very unfortunate and could have been avoided a long time ago.

"It was a bad experience for Carvin really. In January this year, Athletics Kenya gave NOC-K all list of athletes with potential qualification alongside their credentials,"    said Korir.

The 2016 Africa high jump champion Mathew Sawe's dream was dashed after his 'B' standard qualification mark was never entered by NOC-K to compete at the Olympics.

His jump of 2.21m that saw him make history by being the first Kenyan to win Africa gold medal during the Africa Championship in Durban, South Africa, was enough to enter him as 'B' standard qualifier.

However, a few days before the team's departure, he was told he was not travelling because he was not qualified, despite IAAF High Performance Training Centre in Dakar, Senegal, writing a letter to NOC-K reminding them to enter him as a 'B' standard qualifier.

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