(July 15) — British marathon runner Chris Thompson is out of the World Athletics Championships 2022 in Eugene, Oregon because he failed to receive a visa in time to travel to the United States for the competition, UK Athletics said on Friday.
The world championships begin on Friday (15) and the men’s marathon will take place at 6:15 am local time in Oregon, on Sunday (17). Read more: Update – Ferdinand Omanyala gets visa, optimistic about World Athletics Championships
“I’m absolutely devastated I won’t be in Eugene to compete,” said Thompson on the BBC website. “This was my major aim for the year. “It should never have got to this point and it’s hard to believe it has.”
Several competitors have voiced their frustration with the struggle to get a United States visa for the championships, an issue that was brought up and addressed at the press conference with World Athletics boss Sebastian Coe on the even of the global event on Thursday evening.
“UKA had been in close liaison with World Athletics and enlisted help of the UK Government to solve a last minute hold up, however, due to the close proximity to the marathon on Sunday 17 July, Thompson is now unable to travel and compete,” UK Athletics said in a statement.
World governing body president Lord Coe had said: “We will work right up to the last minute but will we be able to resolve all those issues in time for the start of competition? No, we won’t be,”
“The one thing which is clear to me as we battle to do as much as we possibly can is it is complicated. In relative percentage terms, it’s a small number but it’s of no comfort if you are in that category.”
Thompson won a silver medal in the 10,000m at the European Championships in 2010.
Meanwhile, Kenyan 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyala experienced a lengthy delay with the processing of his visa but was able to get it in time to travel from Nairobi to the USA at the last minute on Thursday.