Gone with the wind: Congo athlete, officials disappear after London Games

by Stanley Azuakola

For all of Nigeria’s shortcomings at the Olympic Games where our athletes failed to clinch a single medal, at least every single athlete and official from Nigeria is accounted for.

Not so for Congo. A judo competitor from Congo, Cedric Mandembo, and three other members of Congo’s Olympic delegation suddenly went missing over the weekend.

Mandembo, who competed in the judo 100kg category but lost his only match in just 49 seconds to Russia’s Alexander Mikhavlin, disappeared shortly after the closing ceremony of the games on Sunday. Calls to his mobile phone were not answered.

Previously, seven Cameroonian athletes had also gone missing during the Games. They comprised five boxers, a swimmer and a soccer player. Officials from that country believe that the athletes who absconded, did so for economic reasons.

In addition to the Congolese judo athlete Masengo, boxing trainer Blaise Bekwa and national technical director of athletics Guy Nikita are also unaccounted for.

No further details on their whereabouts have been given.

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