LONDON — Seven of Cameroon’s Olympic competitors have disappeared from their official residence and might be attempting to seek asylum in Britain, the chief of the African nation’s delegation was quoted as saying Tuesday.
The British news agency Press Association said David Ojong, the Team Cameroon chief, told his government that five boxers, a swimmer and a soccer player left the athletes village in Stratford, east London, over the weekend and have not returned.
A sports reporter in Cameroon said some athletes had hinted before departing for London that they might attempt to stay there.
“They said they were very demotivated and named insufficient government attention to their complaints, inadequate financing, poor preparation and substandard infrastructure,” David Sandjo, a sports reporter for Sweet FM radio, told The Associated Press. “Some even said they would not hesitate to change their nationality if ever they had the chance.”
As displayed on the London Games official site, the seven are 50-meter freestyle swimmer Paul Edingue Ekane, 21; women’s goalie Drusille Ngako Tchimi, 25; and five boxers: light flyweight Thomas Essomba, 24; light heavyweight Christian Donfack Adjoufack, 28; lightweight Yhyacinthe Mewoli Abdon, 26; super heavyweight Blaise Yepmou Mendouo, 27; and light welterweight Serge Ambomo, 26.
ALGERIAN REDEMPTION: Kicked out of the London Olympics for presumably not trying hard enough in another event, Algeria’s Taoufik Makhloufi got a second chance after a doctor took his side.
Back at the track Tuesday, he cashed in on that opportunity and won the 1,500 meters in 3 minutes, 34.08 seconds.
BOLT’S SOCCER DREAM: On Monday, 2012 Olympic 100-meter champion Usain Bolt told a British newspaper that he’d like to play for Manchester United.
On Tuesday, United star Rio Ferdinand offered to help, and the two exchanged tweets about the possibility.
“People think I am joking, but if Alex Ferguson called me up and said, ‘OK let’s do this, come and have a trial,’ it would be impossible for me to say no,” Bolt told the Sun. “I would not take up the challenge if I didn’t think I was good enough.”