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Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskay who has been having running battle with the country’s officials in Tokyo, has entered the Polish Embassy

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, 24, would seek asylum in Poland, said a member of the local Belarus community who was in touch with her. Polish consular officials did not respond to requests for confirmation or comment.

The sprinter pulled up in front of the embassy in an unmarked silver van about 5 p.m. local time (0800 GMT). She stepped out with her official team luggage, and then greeted two officials before entering the premises.

Two women, one carrying the red and white flag considered the symbol of opposition in Belarus, came to the gates to support her.

In a brewing diplomatic incident on the sidelines of the Olympics, Tsimanouskaya’s refusal to board the plane,  home has thrown a harsh spotlight on discord in Belarus.

The sprinter, who was due to compete in the women’s 200 metre heats on Monday, had her Games cut short when she said she was taken to the airport to board a Turkish Airlines flight.

She told a Reuters reporter via Telegram that the Belarusian head coach had turned up at her room on Sunday at the athletes village and told her she had to leave.

Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskay enters the Polish embassy in Tokyo, Japan, August 2, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

“The head coach came over to me and said there had been an order from above to remove me,” she wrote in the message. “At 5 (pm) they came my room and told me to pack and they took me to the airport.”

But she refused to board the flight, telling Reuters: “I will not return to Belarus.”

She then sought the protection of Japanese police at the airport.

read alsoBelarusian Olympian forced to the airport raises alarm

The Belarusian Olympic Committee said in a statement coaches had decided to withdraw Tsimanouskaya from the Games on doctors’ advice about her “emotional, psychological state”.

Belarus athletics head coach Yuri Moisevich told state television he “could see there was something wrong with her… She either secluded herself or didn’t want to talk.”

Earlier on Monday, an International Olympic Committee spokesperson said officials would continue conversations with Tsimanouskaya and had asked for a full report from the Belarus’ Olympic committee, Adams said.


The post Belarusian sprinter Tsimanouskay enters Poland Embassy may seek asylum appeared first on Sporting Life.

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