Tokyo Olympics: Belarus sprinter Tsimanouskaya 'safe' after refusing to fly home

By Sports Desk August 02, 2021

The Belarusian sprinter who refused to board a flight home from Japan after allegedly being taken to the airport against her will is "safe" and being protected at a hotel, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed.

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, 24, was in Tokyo to contest the women's 200 metres and 4x400m relay events but was told to pack her things after publicly criticising her team's organisation on social media.

She claimed a Belarusian coach entered her for the relay despite her never racing in the event before, which she suggested was a result of members of the team being considered ineligible due to not completing enough doping tests.

The Belarus National Olympic Committee (NOC) said her withdrawal from competition was due to her "emotional, psychological state", but Tsimanouskaya insisted she was being forced to leave Tokyo "without my consent".

The Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation indicated Tsimanouskaya feared for her life upon returning to Minsk. The country is under the authoritarian leadership of president Alexander Lukashenko, whose son Viktor heads the NOC.

Last December, IOC president Thomas Bach banned both men from attending the Games, declaring: "The IOC has come to the conclusion that it appears that the current leadership has not appropriately protected the Belarusian athletes from political discrimination within the NOC, their member federations or the sports movement."

Tsimanouskaya managed to alert police at the airport, and IOC spokesman Mark Adams later said at a news conference: "She assured us and has assured us that she feels safe and secure. She spent the night at an airport hotel in a safe and secure environment.

"The IOC and Tokyo 2020 will continue their conversations with her and the Japanese authorities to determine the next step in the upcoming days."

Tsimanouskaya has already been offered a visa by Poland.

Related items

  • Naggo Head up by 28.5 points heading into final day of INSPORTS/Devon Biscuits Primary Schools Athletics National Championship Naggo Head up by 28.5 points heading into final day of INSPORTS/Devon Biscuits Primary Schools Athletics National Championship

    Naggo Head of St. Catherine ended the penultimate day of the INSPORTS/Devon Biscuits Primary Schools Athletics National Championship with a 28.5-point lead over defending champions Lyssons of St. Thomas after 21 of the 40 finals at the National Stadium on Tuesday.

    Naggo Head, who are the Central champions, have amassed 117 points, well clear of Lyssons on 88.5 points. Greater Portmore are sitting in third spot with 68 points while Half-Way-Tree Primary are fourth on 49 points. St Richards completed the top five on 45 points.

    Five records were broken on the second day. In the day’s first final, Yasheka Lewis of Gregory Park broke the Girls’ Cricket Ball Open record, throwing 49.22m, well over the previous mark of 44.45m held by Taheisha Brown of Lyssons Primary since 2023. Santana Brown of Brompton Primary was second with 46.31m.

    Nickholet Brown of St John’s Primary erased the Girls Lump Jump Open mark with a leap of 4.61m while her schoolmate Odainna Creary broke the 70m hurdles record clocking 11.52 seconds.  

    The outstanding Waivany Walker of Naggo Head won the Girls’ Class One 400m in 1:01.10 and was just outside the record of 59.27 held by Andrenette Knight of Morant Bay Primary since 2009.

    The boys’ equivalent saw Lawrence Tavern Primary grab the top two spots courtesy of Joshua McWilliams in 58.52 ahead of his teammate Jahaija Griffiths in 59.05. The outstanding record of 53.46 is held by Christopher Taylor of Ewarton Primary since 2012.

    The promising Keneisha Robinson of Naggo Head broke the Girls’ Class Two 300m record stopping the clock at 43.32 erasing Teixiera Johnson of Exchange Primary’s mark of 43.43 set in 2022.

    Johnson is now at Hydel High and won the Class Three sprint double at the recent Boys and Girls High School Championship.

    Zidane Morgan of Ascot Primary captured the Class Two Boys 400m ahead of Ramon Young of Yallahs Primary in a very close battle. Both were timed at 42.28 seconds.

    The 100m sprints were exciting and the promising Kashmir Gunther of Southborough Primary won the Boys’ Class One 100m in 12.47 holding off Deandre Parker of Rousseau Primary in 12.52. Joshua McWilliams of Lawrence Tavern was third in 12.81.

    Lyssons made up some ground picking up first and third in the Girls Class One 100m courtesy of Khalia Raymond (13.20) and Kahlia Senior (13.48). Asha-Lee Montique of Red Hills Road finished second in 13.39.

    Allia Royal of Davis Primary won the Girls Class Three 100m in 14.12 seconds, the same time as second-placed Arianna Lewis of Half-Way-Tree Primary who clocked the same time. Jadah-Kay Pitt of Rock Hall was third in 14.22.

    In one of the most anticipated clashes of the championship, Shaquan Reid of Glen Stuart won the Boys’ Class Two 100m in 13.16 just ahead of Davere Walker of Lyssons in 13.29. Jaden Reid of Southborough was third in 13.39.

    Shamara Chin of Greater Portmore took the Girls Class two 100m in 13.45, edging Sarah McDonald of Naggo head into second spot with 13.46. De-Asia Segree finished a close third also in 13.46.

    Shemika Dobbs of Windward Road won the Girls’ Class Four 60m in 9.06 seconds ahead of Earthania Wray in 9.17 and Amanda Allen of Corinaldi Avenue with 9.21.

    Conjay Scarlett of Corinaldi took the Boys’ Class Four 60m in 8.87 ahead of Jaquan Smith of Harbour View in 9.00 with third going to Demario Lewis of Rock Hall in 9.11 seconds.

    By the end of the relays, Naggo Head had opened up a significant lead after winning two events and showed consistent running in all classes.

     

     

  • JustBet signs three dynamic athletes as brand ambassadors ahead of 2024 Paris Olympics JustBet signs three dynamic athletes as brand ambassadors ahead of 2024 Paris Olympics

    With the Paris Olympics on the horizon, JustBet has announced a significant partnership with three prominent Jamaican athletes as part of its latest campaign. The renowned sports brand, under Supreme Ventures Limited, is thrilled to welcome Reggae Boyz captain and goalkeeper Andre Blake, Olympian Stacy-Ann Williams, and motorsports sensation Fraser McConnell into its fold.

    Scheduled for July 26 to August 11 in Paris, the upcoming Olympic Games serve as the backdrop for this exciting collaboration, marking a pivotal moment for JustBet as it reinvigorates its brand identity.

    Kamal Powell, Head of Marketing at Supreme Ventures Limited, highlighted the strategic decision behind this partnership.

    “We recently refreshed the JustBet brand and have just launched our new advertising campaign to reflect the energy of the brand. It was important to us to align with a diverse group of athletes who all represent excellence in sports to be part of the JustBet story," Powell remarked.

    “The inclusion of accomplished athletes like Andre, Stacy Ann and Fraser in our new TVC underscores our commitment to showcasing the multifaceted nature of athleticism and entertainment while celebrating Jamaican sporting excellence. We are proud to partner with these amazing Jamaican athletes as we continue to elevate the JustBet brand.”

    He emphasized the significance of each ambassador to JustBet's mission, noting, "Andre Blake, revered as the backbone of Jamaica's football team, joins as a symbol of leadership and resilience. Stacy Ann Williams, a formidable presence on the track, epitomizes the physical and mental fortitude it takes to be among the best in sports. Fraser McConnell, known for his fearless approach to motorsports, perfectly embodies the thrill and excitement that define JustBet's ethos. We are truly thrilled to welcome them aboard," Powell said.

    In addition to their roles in the new TV campaign, these athletes will also contribute to broader community initiatives. Blake expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration, saying, "Supreme Ventures has long been a supporter of sports in Jamaica, including football. I'm excited to not only be part of this new ad campaign but also to support the Andre Blake Foundation."

    Through this partnership, JustBet aims to inspire fans across Jamaica to embrace the excitement of sports and entertainment while fostering unity and camaraderie nationwide. As the Olympic Games draw near, the collaboration with Andre Blake, Stacy-Ann Williams, and Fraser McConnell underscores JustBet's commitment to celebrating Jamaican sporting excellence and enhancing its brand presence in the local community.

     

     

  • A blessing: “Cousin” Asher-Smith thrilled to finally compete in front of Jamaican crowd A blessing: “Cousin” Asher-Smith thrilled to finally compete in front of Jamaican crowd

    Jamaican track & field fans have earned a reputation as some of the most passionate and supportive people you will ever come across and, for British sprint superstar Dina Asher-Smith, seeing it up close and personal at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational on May 11 was a riveting experience.

    Asher-Smith, a proud member of the Jamaican diaspora herself through her father Winston, ran her second-fastest time of the young season, 22.59, to take top spot in the Women’s 200m at the inaugural edition of the meet held at the National Stadium in Kingston.

    The 28-year-old, in a post-race interview, said that, regardless of the result, she felt “blessed” to finally compete in Jamaica.

    “It’s something that I’ve wanted to do forever and ever. I am a part of the Jamaican diaspora around the world,” she said before pointing out that her parents flew in from London to see her compete.

    “I’m just so proud to have come here and, however today would’ve gone, it’s just a blessing to come here and race in Jamaica,” she added.

    The 2019 World 200m champion, in another interview after her race with The Inside Lane, expounded on her experience competing in Jamaica.

    “I’m just so blessed to be in this country and blessed that they support me on that level,” she said.

    “I don’t think I can quite articulate what it means to come to another country and they want you to do well and they’re so happy that you’re here. I think, as an athlete, we all want the medals, we all want the titles, we all want the records but at the same time, it means a lot that people want to see you do well,” she added.

    The British record holder in both the 100m and 200m said the support from fans even extended to off the track, mentioning that Jamaican guests at the hotel she stayed at often referred to her as “cousin” based on her Jamaican heritage.

    “It’s been amazing. I’ve always known that the Jamaican fans are so supportive but being here and seeing it up close like when you’re in the hotel and people also staying there are like ‘cousin, cousin!’ It means so much because when you’ve got your actual roots celebrating you and they like you for who you are, I can’t even describe the feeling. It’s so amazing.”

     

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.