Passport hitches leave sprinters sweating over Rio

Mike Mokamba (154) of KDF receives the baton from Charles Wamwea (R) in the 4x100m ...
Mike Mokamba (154) of KDF receives the baton from Charles Wamwea (R) in the 4x100m men relay during the National Championships/African Championship Trials held at the Safaricom Stadium Kasarani on May 27/05/2016. KDF team won the race. Photo/Stafford Ondego/

The dream of four sprinters featuring in the Rio 2016 Olympics team hangs in the balance as officials race against time to process their travel papers before the July 31 departure for Brazil.

Alphas Kishoiyan, the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympics 400m bronze medallist, All-Africa Games 400m silver winner, Boniface Mweresa, Mike Mokamba and Maureen Jelagat, who won the second medal in women 400m Hurdles at the African Champions are sweating over their trip for the Summer Games where they are set for their debuts.

Deputy Chef-de- Mission; James Chacha confirmed to Citizen Digital the quartet’s passports have problems that is being addressed at the Department of Immigration who are working round the clock to assist the runners.

“I don’t want to talk about the matter right now, we are pursuing it. They are part of the Olympics team and will travel to compete at their various events even if it makes us change their travel date.

“It’s the duty of the athletes to keep there documents up to date. We wrote a recommendation for them and we are following it up and I expect the passports to be ready either today (Thursday), latest tomorrow (Friday),” Chacha who is also the Deputy Secretary General of the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (Noc-k) assured.

He further pledged the sprinters would travel to Brazil with their own coach following the London 2012 fiasco where they were lumped with overall track and field head coach, Julius Kirwa, affecting their performance.

Former Kenya Olympic team coach and retired sprinter; John Anzrah, Gideon Chirchir, James Mutisya, Richard Metto, Joseph Musoni, Boniface Tiren, Paul Rop and Mark Barason are working under head coach Julius Kirwa to cater for short, middle, long, hurdles, marathon and Race walking athletes.

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Story By Charity Wanja
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