Rumours were circulating this morning that seven Cameroon athletes, including the five-strong boxing team, had done a runner. It has now been confirmed that they are indeed missing.
It is thought that those who have disappeared from the Olympic village may be aiming to stay in Britain or Europe for financial reasons although as yet none have applied for asylum. It has also been suggested that the Cameroon athletes may have just popped out for some London sightseeing or to visit friends.
David Ojong, Cameroon’s head of mission to the London Games, confirmed that seven members of his team are nowhere to be found.
The walkabout team are not breaking the law as their visas would allow them to remain in Britain for the duration of the Olympics.
“What began as rumour has finally turned out to be true. Seven Cameroonian athletes who participated at the 2012 London Olympic Games have disappeared from the Olympic Village,” Ojong said.
The country has had a tough time of it in London 2012, with the women’s football team losing 5-0 defeat to Brazil in last week’s women’s football tournament opener.
However last week Cameroon coach Enow Ngachu remained positive.
“We’re here to learn. We had a very tough match against Brazil, one of the favourites,” he said.
“For many of my players, it is the very first time that they are playing against non-African opposition.”
According to reports, reserve goalkeeper for the women’s football team, Drusille Ngako, 25, was the first to disappear.
Swimmer Paul Ekane Edingue, 21, was the next to drop off the radar after his personal belongings were removed from his room in the Olympic village.
Five boxers, Thomas Essomba, Christian Donfack Adjoufack, Abdon Mewoli, Blaise Yepmou Mendouo and Serge Ambomo, then absconded on Sunday night.
Cameroon has not yet won a medal in the London 2012 Games.
Here’s wishing them luck on their Olympic runner.
Image: Thomas Essomba of Cameroon arrives for his London 2012 Light Flyweight boxing match against Abdelali Daraa of Morocco (Getty)