After going through a tumultuous situation last week, Belarus sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskya feels safe in Poland. She sought refuge in Poland to avoid punishment at home after criticizing team officials at the Tokyo Olympics. Now, she’s in a place where she can focus on maintaining her world-class running career. Here are the highlights:
- According to an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press in Olympic Center in Warsaw, she’s asked Polish officials for help with her training.
- She knows she’s starting from square one in a new country. Alongside her husband, Arseni Zdanevich, she said that “We are planning to stay in Poland and continue our careers here.”
- They’ve discussed things like training, the Polish athletics national team, coaching, and other things with the Ministry of Sports.
- Both she and her husband felt it would be wasteful to ditch an online training program in Belarus.
- They’ve put a lot into everything and want to keep the training going. Now, they feel secure in Poland because they have humanitarian visas.
- She criticized her team officials because they put her in the 4×400 relay, which she had no experience with. Afterward, she was barred from the 200-meter race that she was prepared to run. She was told to pack her bags and prepare to head back to Belarus.
- When she was able to explain the situation to the Japanese officials, she had police protection and was escorted to a plane to Poland.
- With so many political and social things happening in Belarus, it’s just unsafe. Both Tsimanouskya and Zdanevich miss their families. However, they know being in Poland to start over again is the best offer they have on the table right now.