Thursday, July 2, 2009

Kenyan Marathon Champion Unable to Defend His Title

Kenyan marathon runner Lamech Mokono was unable to compete in this year's Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, MN because his P-1 visa application was denied for incompleteness. Mokono won the event last year while in the United States on a B-1 visa, but had opted this year for a P-1, which is more cumbersome to acquire. Interestingly, Mokono's prior success may have led to his missing the event this year. B-1 visas are normally available for amateur and even professional athletes who will compete in the United States without any salary or payment (other than prize money). It is possible that Mokono's past success led to some financial arrangement or remuneration in 2009 that made the P-1 visa the better option. Unfortunately, and as Mokono found out, there can often be snags on the road to actually getting the P-1.

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