The Korean Athletics Federation (KAAF) has just completed the procedure for Wilson Loyanae Erupe to wear the national team shirt under the name of Oh Joo-han.
According to the latest decision of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Oh Joo-han – the name of Erupe’s new nationality – is eligible to be selected for the Korean athletics team from March 7. Earlier, IAAF announced 30-year-old Kenyan athletes could only play for Korean athletics from August 2021. But after reviewing the file of Oh Joo-han, the athletic management agency changed the decision.
The representative of the Korean Athletics Federation (KAAF) Oh Chang-seok told Yonhap news agency that: “We initially asked the IAAF to consider playing for Oh Joo-han’s team in December 2018, but the agency told us to submit additional documents to prove the history of the athlete’s stay in Korea. We then submitted relevant documents from the local government where Oh Joo-han resided and the lawyer of this athlete, and thanks to that, was passed by the IAAF”.
Oh Chang-seok is a former South Korean track and field coach. After finishing his contract with KAAF, Mr. Oh accepted to act as representative for Oh Joo-han, helping the Kenyan-born athlete to carry out Korean naturalization procedures from September 2018. Under the IAAF’s new law for switching colors, athletes have to wait three years after a new conversion decision can represent the country they want to head to. With athletes who have never played for their homeland, the waiting time to wear a new team is only one year.
But KAAF offered the IAAF flexibility in the case of Oh Joo-han. Specifically, the Korean side issued the necessary documents to prove that the Kenyan athlete joined the athletics department of Cheoyang County, in the South Chungcheong Province from July 2015. Oh Joo-han himself also competed only in marathons in Korea from that time until naturalization.
“We sent the profile, emphasizing the recent history of Oh Joo-han, and after a period of review, the IAAF recognized his Korean athlete status”, said Oh Chang-seok. With IAAF’s latest decision, Oh Joo-han can rest assured to train, aiming to help the Korean athlete compete for the Olympic marathon content bronze medal (42km) in Tokyo 2020. To help this naturalized athlete be fine Life plans, KAAF will also support Oh Joo-han to bring his wife and children from Kenya to live with.
“He was very disappointed to know that he could only play for South Korea from the summer of 2021, but now Oh Joo-han can concentrate on training with the highest motivation. He will attend an international marathon. next September, and trying to qualify for Olympic athletes – 2 hours 11 minutes 30 seconds, Oh Joo-han is determined to help South Korea enter the top 3 men’s marathon at the Tokyo Olympic Games in August 2020″, Mr. Oh Chang-seok said.