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Defected Belarusian Sprinter to Run for Poland

Belarusian sprinter

Belarusian sprinter

The Belarusian sprinter Krystina Tsimanouskaya plans to apply for Polish sporting citizenship so that she can run for Poland.

Tsimanouskaya has reached Poland earlier this month after gaining a humanitarian visa.

Tsimanouskaya refused to fly home after she voiced fears over safety and demanded Tokyo police protection.

She said her team was trying to force her on board the plane against her wishes.

However, Tsimanouskaya says she hopes to compete again after her high-profile defection during the Tokyo Olympics.

“We are now going to try to change my sporting citizenship so that I can compete for the Polish national team,” she said.

“I have decided to stay in Poland and compete for the Polish national team.”

Tsimanouskaya told the Associated Press news agency that she had asked Polish officials to help her resume training following her defection.

“Life changed in one day, and now we are starting it from scratch in a new country,” she said.

“We are planning to stay in Poland and continue our careers here.

Migration Wave

Last week, Poland accused Belarus of sending a growing number of migrants over the border in retaliation for Warsaw’s decision this week to give refuge to Krystina Tsimanouskaya.

For its part, Lithuania has also reported a surge in border crossings from Belarus in recent weeks.

The two Eastern EU neighbours called on European institutions to help them deal with the
growing numbers of migrants coming from Belarus.

Belarus Under Spotlight

The Belarusian government has yet to comment on the incident

However, the incident has again put the spotlight on Belarus, which President Alexander Lukashenko has ruled since 1994. 

Last year, nationwide protests over his disputed re-election were violently repressed by the security forces.

The Belarusian authorities violently suppressed the angry protests.

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