Ghanaian athletes miss 2015 IAAF World Champs due to visa problems

Saturday, 22 August 2015 12:28
Alex Amankwah was billed to race in Heat 3 but did not start (DNS) Alex Amankwah was billed to race in Heat 3 but did not start (DNS)

The only two Ghanaian athletes who qualified for the 2015 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships ongoing in Beijing, China failed to make it to the competition due to visa issues.

Janet Amponsah and Alex Amankwah were billed to represent Ghana in the women’s 100m and 200m and men’s 800m respectively at the competition, which begins on Saturday, August 22.

The two national record holders, who are based in the US, applied for Chinese visa on August 5 after receiving their letters of invitation from the Local Organising Committee (LOC).

“Approximately two weeks later, their passports were returned by the Chinese Embasssy in Washington DC indicating their visa applications had been denied,” a statement from the Ghana Athletics Asociation (GAA) said.

Efforts were, as a result, frantically put in place by President of GAA Professor Francis Dodoo to get the LOC to issue the two a visa-upon-arrival.

“However, United Airlines declined to let them board their flight to China using the visa-on-arrival document.”

The development comes as a blow to athletics in Ghana as the tournament was to test the preparedness of the athletes for next year's Olympics.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|tv3network.com|Ghana

Twitter: @kwame_amoh