The COVID-19 global pandemic has had far-reaching effects on several sports activities with several events either postponed or called off.

The 2020 Diamond League that was initially supposed to start in April had its first three athletics meetings postponed. Hopes of resumption, however, are now a reality, with the Monaco Herculis Diamond League slated for 14th August.

Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei and the 800M World Athletics Champion Halima Nakayi are some of the main athletes that are supposed to grace the event.

However, with tight restrictions on flights still in place, Cheptegei is not certain whether he will leave Uganda for France.  

The 23-year-old was in scintillating form prior to the outbreak of the CIVID-19 Pandemic winning victory in Monaco in February, clocking 12 minutes and 51 seconds to smash the previous record, set by Kenya’s Rhonex Kipruto.

Joshua Cheptegei

His manager, Jurrie Van der Velden in an interview with Daily Monitor stated that they are in talks with the government to forge a way forward.  

“For the moment it remains a challenge. We’ve reached out to authorities for help. It’s time the government did something for these exceptional athletes to facilitate their travel,” he said.

Cheptegei is currently training at Sebei College with hopes that the government will grant him permission to travel.

Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) chairman, William Blick says they are working around the clock to make sure that Cheptegei can travel to France.

“We are engaging the government to make sure he travels to France. We shall do all in our capacity, even if it means travelling by road to Rwanda or Kenya and he connects from there. “

The Diamond League is an annual series of elite track and field athletic competitions comprising 15 of the best invitational athletics meetings. The series sits in the top tier of the World Athletics (formerly known as the IAAF) one-day meeting competitions.

Joel Muyita is a senior staff writer at Kawowo Sports.

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