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Sierra Leonean sprinter acquires Dutch citizenship

June 1, 2015 By Sahr Morris Jr.

Sierra Leone has lost another athlete after sprinter Solomon Bockarie recently acquired Dutch nationality at a solemn ceremony held in the Netherlands.

The 28-year-old has spent several years in the Netherlands. In September last year, he joined Zoetermeer Athletics Club, thanks to efforts by the municipality and former chairman of ARV Ilion.

Bockarie, who represented Sierra Leone in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, applied for Dutch citizenship just after having a successful winter with his club.

The former Sierra Leone Olympia is now eager to represent the Netherlands in the forthcoming World Championships in Beijing, China, the 2016 European Championships in Amsterdam, and the ultimate goal of the Rio 2016 Olympics Games.

According to www.dichtbij.n: “With a personal best of 10.32 seconds, Bockarie is not far from the Dutch individual time and can be of great value for the country’s relay team, even medal chances at the Olympics.”

If he decided to represent the Netherlands, Bockarie will become the latest athlete from Sierra Leone to switch citizenship after Eunice Barber, who initially competed for Sierra Leone and then for France in 1999 and onwards.

Barber won the heptathlon at the World Championships in 1999, the long jump in 2003 and finished second in the heptathlon in 2003 and 2005 – all while representing France.