World Para-Athletics Championships: Para-athlete's dash to compete after visa issues

By Katie FalkinghamBBC Sport in Dubai
Christian Gobe
Gobe is based in Switzerland and has represented the men's national wheelchair basketball team
World Para-Athletics Championships
Venue: Dubai Club for People of Determination, Dubai Dates: 7-15 November

Cameroon Paralympian Christian Gobe had to rush from the airport to the World Para-Athletics Championships after he landed in Dubai just hours before his event due to visa issues.

Gobe, who competes in the F55 shot put, should have arrived on Tuesday but landed at 03:00 local time on Thursday morning - his event starting at 09:30.

He finished third in that heat before placing 12th in Thursday night's final.

"It really affected my performance," he said.

The 42-year-old, who was Cameroon's sole competitor at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, told BBC World Service: "It has not been easy.

"We arrived this morning and I didn't have chance to sleep.

"We had a chat with the organisation of the competition but when you arrive early in the morning and have to compete the same morning, it is not easy.

"I wasn't able to give my best."

However, two of Cameroon's biggest athletes have not made it to Dubai after being denied visas.

Amandi Ngono competes in the F12 shot put and javelin, while Atangana Guillaume Jr competes in the T11 100m.

Visually impaired Guillaume Jr does not compete until Tuesday and is still attempting to get a visa in time.

The team said they have been given "no reason" as to why the visas have been denied.

"We are still expecting something can change [for Guillaume Jr]," Gerard Mvogo, Cameroon's throwing coach, told BBC World Service.

In addition, Benin's sole representative at the championships, T47 100m runner Fayssal Atchiba, has not made it to the event for similar reasons.

Atchiba is supported by the Agitos Foundation, the International Paralympic Committee's development arm, and is investigating the case.

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC