Ferdinand Omanyala among hundreds of track worlds athletes affected by visa issues

Ferdinand Omanyala
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Due to visa issues, sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala will depart his native Kenya for the world track and field championships on Thursday evening (Kenya time) and arrive in Eugene, Oregon hours before his first race Friday, his representative confirmed Thursday.

“Ferdinand finally got his visa this morning and is on his way to the airport as we speak,” the representative said Thursday morning U.S. time. “He will arrive about three hours before his heat tomorrow.”

Omanyala’s 100m heat is Friday around 7 p.m. local time in Eugene.

TRACK WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule | U.S. Roster | Key Events

Omanyala, the African record holder in the 100m with a best time of 9.77 seconds, is one of hundreds of international athletes whose travel to worlds in Eugene has been affected by visa issues.

Specifically, 374 cases among athletes and officials, about 73 percent of which have been resolved, according to USA Today, citing World Athletics.

“The Oregon22 organizing committee and World Athletics are working closely with the USOPC to follow up on visa applications, the majority of which have been successfully resolved,” according to a World Athletics statement Wednesday. “We continue to follow up with those outstanding visa issues. International travel in general has become more challenging due to the pandemic and we are extremely grateful for the help and experience of the USOPC in helping to resolve issues that have come up in the last few weeks.”

Omanyala, 26, is the joint-third fastest man in the world this year (9.85 seconds), trailing Americans Fred Kerley (9.76) and Trayvon Bromell (9.81). Omanyala beat Kerley at a meet in Nairobi on May 7.

An African nation has never won a world championships men’s 100m medal. Kenya, long a distance-running powerhouse, has never won an Olympic or world medal in an event shorter than 400m.

Last Sunday, Syria’s lone entered athlete, Majd Eddin Ghazal, the 2017 World high jump bronze medalist, said on social media that he would miss the world championships. “Tired of delayed replies,” he posted without specifying. Ghazal has for years dealt with visa issues trying to get into international competitions.

An Iranian news agency reported Thursday that both of its entered athletes, including 2012 Olympic discus silver medalist Ehsan Hadadi, were denied visas.

On Friday, British officials announced that two-time Olympic marathoner Chris Thompson will miss Sunday’s men’s marathon after “significant delays” processing his U.S. visa to solve a “last-minute hold up.”

“It should never have got to this point and It’s hard to believe it has,” Thompson said in a press release.

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Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich
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A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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2023 World Alpine Skiing Championships TV, live stream schedule

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Every race of the world Alpine skiing championships airs live on Peacock from Feb. 6-19.

France hosts the biennial worlds in Meribel and Courchevel — six women’s races, six men’s races and one mixed-gender team event.

Mikaela Shiffrin is the headliner, in the midst of her most successful season in four years with a tour-leading 11 World Cup wins in 23 starts. Shiffrin is up to 85 career World Cup victories, one shy of Ingemar Stenmark‘s record accumulated over the 1970s and ’80s.

World championships races do not count in the World Cup tally.

Shiffrin is expected to race at least four times at worlds, starting with Monday’s combined. She earned a medal in 11 of her 13 career world championships races, including each of the last 10 dating to 2015.

Shiffrin won at least one race at each of the last five world championships (nobody has gold from six different worlds). Her six total golds and 11 total medals are American records. At this edition, she can become the most decorated skier in modern world championships history from any nation.

She enters one medal shy of the record for most individual world championships medals since World War II (Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt) and four medals shy of the all-time record. (Worlds were held annually in the 1930s, albeit with fewer races.)

She is also one gold medal shy of the post-World War II individual record shared by Austrian Toni Sailer, Frenchwoman Marielle Goitschel and Swede Anja Pärson.

The other favorites at these worlds include Italian Sofia Goggia, the world’s top female downhiller this season, and the two leading men: Swiss Marco Odermatt (No. 1 in super-G and giant slalom) and Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (No. 1 in downhill).

2023 World Alpine Skiing Championships Broadcast Schedule

Date Event Time (ET) Platform
Mon., Feb. 6 Women’s Combined Super-G Run 5 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Combined Slalom Run 8:30 a.m. Peacock
Tues., Feb. 7 Men’s Combined Super-G Run 5 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Combined Slalom Run 8:30 a.m. Peacock
Wed., Feb. 8 Women’s Super-G 5:30 a.m. Peacock
Thu., Feb. 9 Men’s Super-G 5:30 a.m. Peacock
Sat., Feb. 11 Women’s Downhill 5 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 2:30 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Sun., Feb. 12 Men’s Downhill 5 a.m Peacock
Highlights 3 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Tue., Feb. 14 Team Parallel 6:15 a.m. Peacock
Men’s/Women’s Parallel Qualifying 11 a.m. Peacock
Wed., Feb. 15 Men’s/Women’s Parallel 6 a.m. Peacock
Thu., Feb. 16 Women’s Giant Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Giant Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Fri., Feb. 17 Men’s Giant Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Giant Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Sat., Feb. 18 Women’s Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 2:30 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Sun., Feb. 19 Men’s Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 3 p.m.* NBC, Peacock

*Delayed broadcast
*All NBC coverage streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for TV subscribers.

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