Airport hiccup for Asafa Powell in Rio
Andre Lowe, Special Projects Editor – Sports
Sprinting star Asafa Powell had a hiccup as he arrived at the Tom Jobim International Airport in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this morning.
Powell, was barred from entering the country by immigration officials because he did not have his Olympic credentials, which also serves as the necessary visa documentation for athletes, media and officials traveling for the Olympic Games.
The former world record holder over 100m told the Brazilian immigration personnel that Jamaica's team manager for athletics, Ludlow Watts, who was waiting outside the airport, had his accreditation.
According to Brazilian news outlet Globo Esporte, the Federal Police after much deliberation then asked several Olympic volunteers at the airport if they in fact recognised Powell as a Jamaican sprinter.
After a meeting between the Federal Police and the on site accreditation office, a duplicate pass was created for the sprinter.
Powell confirmed the hold up, but shared that he was doing fine and had since joined his teammates in camp.
"Yes, I had a little hiccup on entry, but the immigration personnel in Brazil were very helpful and professional. I am now at training camp and I am ready to get going so that we can fly the Jamaican flag high at the Rio Games," Powell said.
Powell is set to compete in the 4x100m relay as the Jamaicans look to again defend the title they won at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games.