Athletes from South Africa are in a difficult situation due to visa delays on the eve of the World Cup

While most of the country’s top athletes have arrived early, South Africa has not been immune to the visa issues that teams have experienced arriving in the United States this week to compete. World Championships in Athletics in Eugene.

Athletes from around the world have been in a quandary in preparation for the show, and perhaps most notably Africa’s 100m record holder Ferdinand Omañal of Kenya, who was finally cleared to enter the host country on Thursday after as it seemed that he might have to withdraw from participation.

Most of the South African team arrived in Eugene ahead of the opening day of the competition on Friday, including 100m sprinter Akani Simbine, 400m world record holder Wade van Niekerk (who is based in the US) and three-time 800m world champion Custer. Semenya, who will compete in the women’s 5000m.

But 13 athletes from the South African team – 10 of them based in Italy and three based in Joburg – were still waiting for rejection on Thursday after they failed to get US visas. Among them were fit sprinter Luxolo Adams, South African 200m record holder Clarence Munyai and other members of the national 4x100m relay team.

ALSO READ: Five things to know about Luxolo Adams

While Athletics South Africa was late in allowing athletes to enter the U.S. without visas to compete in the biennial competition, they faced further delays at the airport on departure, apparently due to a lack of communication between officials. which caused some confusion.

Even if they were given a clear path to the event upon arrival in the US, some athletes had to arrive only a few hours before the first rounds of their disciplines.

Organizers have been widely criticized on social media for not preparing enough in advance to allow athletes to go through the U.S. visa application process, which includes an appointment interview.

The 10-day World Championships in Athletics, postponed last year due to Covid, kick off on Friday and end next weekend.