Visa woes rule Petterson-Grifith out of World Powerlifting Championships

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Guyana’s top Powerlifter, Carlos Petterson-Grifith, had his dreams shattered on Monday when it was confirmed, he would not attend this year’s World Powerlifting Championships in Sweden due to issues acquiring a visa.

The World Sub-Junior, Junior, Master and Open Classic Powerlifting Championships are being held from September 23 to October 3.

On Monday, he got the dreaded news, he will not be able to attend.

“This is due to a Visa issue; Guyana is the only participating country that requires a European Schengen Visa to travel to Sweden,” he expressed in a statement to the media.

“I along with the federation had exhausted all our options in trying to obtain this visa within the said period needed but to no avail, the only response we had gotten for the closest date for the interview, given the pandemic protocols would be after the competition which would defeat the entire purpose of this trip”.

According to the Powerlifter, it is the second successive occasion he is missing the event after being fully prepared.

The 27-year-old, whose primary goal is to become the best in the world at the 93kg category, was eyeing this event to make significant moves up the rankings. He is currently seventh in the world with a total of 790.0 points.

His category is topped by Jonathan Cayco of the U.S. Virgin Islands, who has 880.5 points.

“I know in my heart that I would have placed within the top tier of the best five lifters, and it is a disappointing feeling knowing that it was out of my control having everything in place to travel aside from the Visa.”

Meanwhile, the Guyana Amateur Powerlifting Federation (GAPLF) said no effort was spared in helping the lifter to secure the relevant travelling documents.

“The GAPLF worked through and with many stakeholders, both local and overseas to resolve the issues. However, the extant regulations on travel to the Sweden in light of the pandemic seemed insurmountable for the Guyana delegation,” the GAPLF said.

“Nonetheless, the Federation is appreciative of the efforts of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, through the Director of Sports, for offering yeomen support to Team Guyana and all other sponsors who would have contributed to Team Guyana in anticipation of our participation in the Championship. The Federation will continue to offer its athletes the exposure and opportunities they merit and looks forward to sponsors continued support to make this possible.”

Petterson-Grifith said while it is a significant setback, he is fixed on attending next year’s World Championships in South Africa, but now he will place focus on competing at the South American Championship in Ecuador from December 8-12.

The National Sports Commission had sponsored his trip its entirety and he thanked them for the support, along with Fitness Express, MVP Sports, GuyBisco, and DeSinco Trading along with others.

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