Belarusian sprinter joins sports team sponsored by Polish fuel giant


Belarusian runner Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who fled to Warsaw after refusing to fly home from the Tokyo Olympics, has joined Team Orlen, a group of athletes sponsored by the Polish state-owned fuel company PKN Orlen.

On August 1, the Olympic athlete was barred by her coaches from competing in the Tokyo Olympics after publicly criticising her country's sports officials. Thanks to the prompt intervention of the Polish embassy in Tokyo, she obtained a humanitarian visa and avoided returning to Belarus. On August 5 she safely landed in Warsaw.

Tsimanouskaya, whose Tokyo Games were cut short, was due to compete in the women's 200m event. She won the 200m at the 2019 Universiade in Naples and has also taken part in world and European championships.

Cooperation with PKN Orlen is to enable her to continue her sports career in Poland.

"Krystsina Tsimanouskaya joins the Orlen team. I am glad that by supporting her, we will enable her further development in sports. I hope that Krystsina will soon return to training and competing," PKN Orlen CEO Daniel Obajtek said on Tuesday.

Tsimanouskaya said she was grateful for the support she received from PKN Orlen.

"From today I am starting a new life and a new sports stage together with PKN Orlen and the Orlen Sports Group," she said. 

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