Why Kenyan athletes could miss out on Diamond League meetings


Athletics - Diamond League - Shanghai - Shanghai Stadium, Shanghai, China - May 12, 2018 Kenya's Timothy ...
Athletics - Diamond League - Shanghai - Shanghai Stadium, Shanghai, China - May 12, 2018 Kenya's Timothy Cheruiyot celebrates winning the men's 1500m REUTERS/Aly Song

In Summary

  • The European Union has left Kenya out of the 15 nations that have been given green light to visit European nations beginning on July 1
  • According to Schengen News, it is only four countries from African continent that have been included in the ‘safe list’ including Morocco, Algeria, Rwanda and Tunisia
@gil_kiprotich

With the new athletics season set to kick off in August, Kenyan athletes hope of competing in the events to be held in European Union (EU) nations now hangs in the balance.

The European Union has left Kenya out of the 15 nations that have been given green light to visit European nations beginning on July 1.

According to Schengen News, it is only four countries from African continent that have been included in the ‘safe list’ including Morocco, Algeria, Rwanda and Tunisia.

Other countries whose nationals will be allowed to enter Europe are: Australia, Canada, China, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, New Zealand, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, and Uruguay.

In March, many countries in Europe started placing cross-border restrictions due to the global spread of coronavirus.

According to sources of Euronews, EU officials failed to agree on a common list of the countries that would definitely be banned from entering the block upon the border reopening but managed to create a list of the countries with a better epidemiological situation, the citizens of which will be able to enter Europe soon.

The same sources have also confirmed that citizens of Brazil, Qatar, the US and Russia will only be able to enter Europe at a later date when the epidemiological situation in these countries improves.

With the Monaco Diamond League primed for August 14, it is still unclear if Kenyan athletes will be allowed to travel with the organisers of the Diamond League yet to issue a statement on the same.

World 1500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot and Commonwealth Games champion Elijah Manangoi are among the Kenyan athletes who were set to grace the event which is expected to kickstart the athletics actions after the virus ravaged the initial calendar.

Other Diamond League meets to be held in European soil include; Stockholm (Sweden) to be held in August 23 and Brussels (Belgium) on September 4.

Others are Rome/Naples (Italy) on September 17 and Gateshead (Great Britain) scheduled for September 26 although the dates are yet to be confirmed.

Already, Paris Meeting slated for September 6 and Prefontaine Classic are the latest events to be cancelled.

According to the meeting organisers, the 2020 Diamond League calendar remains provisional and subject to further changes due to the ongoing global health situation and ever-changing regulations.

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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