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Meet Kristina Timanovskaya: Belarusian Sprinter Doesn’t Want To Go Home, Fears Arrest

Kristina Timanovskaya
Who is Kristina Timanovskaya: Belarusian sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya made international headlines after she claimed that she was forced out of Tokyo after publically criticising her country’s Olympic officials. She released a video on Sunday, showing how she was escorted to the airport, and calling for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to help her avoid being returned to her native country against her will. Tsimanouskaya on Monday morning said she was “safe” and under police protection in Japan. She voiced fears for her safety after criticising her coaches and their careless practices.

The 24-year-old athlete made a short video and shared it on social media saying that she was put under pressure and “forcibly” deported from the country without her consent. This incident came to light after she criticised Belarus’s athletics federation for entering her into a relay race in Tokyo without giving her notice. The sprinter said she had never competed in the 400 meters and was “outraged” by the decision to include her in the relay event. She also pleaded to Japanese police at Haneda Airport to give her protection and issued a plea to the IOC as well, according to the BBC. She couldn’t compete in the women’s 200m event held on Monday. this was the event for which she had arrived at the Games.

Kristina Timanovskaya went on to claim in the videos that two officials had taken her to the airport and demanded she returns home. “They said I need to be eliminated from the Olympics and returned home because I interfere with the team’s performance,” she said, according to the New York Times.

Who is Kristina Timanovskaya?

Timanovskaya has previously won two significant medals, a gold in the 2019 Summer Universiade in Italy, following a silver in the 100m and 200m sprints. She has competed in a total of nine international competitions. She had stood second in the 100m race at the 2017 European U23 Championships organised in Poland and won a silver medal. But after she criticized the Belarus Olympics Committee, she refused to board a flight back to Belarus, and was given police protection.

She was chosen to represent Belarus in the women’s 100m and 200m events at the Tokyo Olympics.

Feature Image Credit: news.com.au