Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya arrives in Poland via Vienna
Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who was forced to leave the Olympic Games after criticizing Belarusian sports officials, flew from Tokyo to Vienna on Wednesday, August 4.
Update. On Wednesday night, the BBC reported that Krystsina Tsimanouskaya had arrived in Poland. An Austrian official told the BBC that Tismanouskaya is “concerned for her future, but doing well under the circumstances.”
Her plane, Austrian Airlines flight OS52, landed at the Vienna airport at 3:05 p.m. local time, according to data from the website Flightradar 24.
Judging by the flight path, after taking off from Tokyo, the plane flew over Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czechia, and Austria — avoiding Belarusian airspace entirely.
After the Polish Embassy in Tokyo issued Tsimanouskaya a humanitarian visa, it was assumed that she would fly directly from Japan to Poland. Instead, she boarded the plane to Vienna at the last moment. A source in the Austrian Foreign Ministry told Interfax that Tsimanouskaya is set to fly from Vienna to Warsaw later on Wednesday.
Earlier, citing members of the Belarusian diaspora, Reuters reported that Polish diplomats changed Tsimanouskaya’s flight from Tokyo for security reasons.
On August 1, the Belarusian Olympic Committee removed 24-year-old sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya from the Olympic Games in Tokyo after she criticized sports officials for registering her for an additional event (one she hadn’t trained for) without her knowledge. In an attempt to force her to return home, Belarusian officials bundled her off to the Haneda Airport, where she sought the help of Tokyo police. She also appealed to the International Olympic Committee to intervene, saying that she was being forced onto a flight bound for Minsk.
Krystsina Tsimanouskaya plans to seek political asylum in Poland. Both she and her husband, coach Arseniy Zdanevich — who fled Belarus earlier this week — were granted Polish humanitarian visas.