Kenya's Ferdinand Omanyala, the fastest African 100m runner, has had participation at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 that start on Friday put in doubt by visa hold-ups ©Getty Images

Ferdinand Omanyala, Africa’s fastest 100 metres runner, is among six Team Kenya members for whom visa hold-ups have put in doubt their participation in the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 that start on Friday (July 15).

Omanyala, who set the African men's 100m record of 9.77 seconds at Nairobi in September 2021 and stands third in this year’s world lists with 9.85 at the same venue, beating Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Fred Kerley, is "still waiting for his visa or alternative clearance to depart from Nairobi," his spokesperson told Reuters.

They added: "It is frustrating but he remains hopeful to make the trip."

The 26-year-old won the African 100m title last month and was the first Kenyan to qualify for the Olympic 100m semi-finals in Tokyo last year.

Kenya’s Pulse Sports reports that Omanyala is one of six home athletes who have so far been unable to undertake what will be a 22-hour series of connecting air flights.

The team was scheduled to leave the country in two batches on July 11 and 12.

Reports say Athletics Kenya has asked the Government to assist in contacting the US authorities.

Visa hold-ups are affecting athletes attempting to travel to the World Athletics Championships, due to open at Hayward Field in Oregon on Friday ©Getty Images
Visa hold-ups are affecting athletes attempting to travel to the World Athletics Championships, due to open at Hayward Field in Oregon on Friday ©Getty Images

"I have remained with the team manager and we are still waiting to hear from them," Omanyala told Pulse Sports. 

"They told us they would be calling us and so it is just a matter of time. 

"Of course it is worrying because my first race is on Friday and this is a long flight.

"It takes almost 22 hours to get there and as a sportsman you need some time to rest and also train a bit to shake the jet lag. 

"Looking at all circumstances and my first race being on Friday, I am just hoping I can leave today (Wednesday) so that I get there Thursday night and rest up a bit."

Another leading athlete to have been held up by visa problems is the Ivory Coast's Marie Josee Ta Lou, who won 100 and 200m silver at the London 2017 World Championships and 100m bronze at the Doha 2019 World Championships.

She tweeted: "As an athlete you work hard to be qualified for world champ only to have a visa issue and 1- not been able to travel 2-been able to travel and reach the same day of your race."

She added: "How did they except the athlete to perform well ? This is really frustrating."

Respected Jamaican reporter Kayon Rayner tweeted yesterday saying that 400m runner Gregory Prince had to overcome his own visa delays regarding Oregon22.

"The JAAA’s is frantically trying to secure a flight for 19-year-old quarter-miler Gregory Prince to leave Kgn on Wednesday to join the World Championships team in Oregon, after securing his visa on Tuesday. Prince is set to collect his passport at 1pm tomorrow (Wednesday)."

India’s women’s 200m runner Dhanalakshmi Sekar, who ran a personal best of 22.89sec in Kazakhstan last month, is also struggling to overcome visa problems which were making it increasingly likely she would miss Oregon22, as reported by

Sekar has also been included in the Indian squad for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, due to take place from July 28 to August 8.

Meanwhile British pole vaulter Harry Coppell, seventh at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, tweeted a picture showing all his poles broken in transit during his flight to Oregon.

An official statement has been released in response to the cases of visa-related problems:

"The Oregon22 organising committee and World Athletics are working closely with the USOPC to follow up on Visa applications, the majority of which have been successfully resolved.

"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."