English Section

Belarusian Olympian Tsimanouskaya joins team sponsored by Polish fuel giant: CEO

10.08.2021 20:00
Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who fled to Warsaw after refusing to fly home from the Tokyo Olympics, has joined a group of athletes sponsored by Polish fuel giant PKN Orlen, its CEO has announced.
Krystsina Tsimanouskaya.
Krystsina Tsimanouskaya.Photo: PAP/Andrzej Lange

"We are happy to see Krystsina Tsimanouskaya join the Orlen Sports Group and our Tokyo 2020 medalists," CEO Daniel Obajtek said in a tweet on Monday.

"We hope Krystsina will return to competition soon," he added.

"Supporting sports means building a strong global brand for Orlen, but also carrying out important social functions," Obajtek also tweeted.

Tsimanouskaya, who refused to be sent home from the Tokyo Olympics after criticising her country's sports officials, arrived in Warsaw under Polish diplomatic protection last Wednesday after earlier taking shelter in the Polish embassy in Tokyo.

Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk said last week that "the Polish gene of solidarity" had been the driving force behind a complex operation to bring the Belarusian sprinter to Warsaw from the Tokyo Olympics—an effort that he said ended in success despite being fraught with risks.

Tsimanouskaya has since thanked the Polish foreign ministry, the Polish prime minister's office and the country's diplomatic service as well as the Japanese authorities for allowing her to fly from Japan to Poland.

She told reporters after arriving in Warsaw that she was glad to be safe in Warsaw.

She was quoted as saying in an interview this week that she wanted to stay in Poland for now and focus on her sports career.

Poland at the start of last week issued a humanitarian visa to the 24-year-old, who had been due to compete in the women's 200m event at the Tokyo Olympics on August 2.

She won the 200m at the 2019 Universiade in Naples and has also taken part in world and European championships.

Last year, when the Belarusian opposition protested after the country's disputed presidential election, Tsimanouskaya condemned violence and expressed support for free speech, Poland's PAP news agency reported.


Source: PAP