The five members of the Cameroon Olympic boxing team, who failed to turn up for their plane home after being knocked out of London 2012, turned up at a small boxing gym in New Cross.
West African Olympic boxers who went missing in Britain after the games have been discovered in a South London gym.
Five members of the Cameroon Olympic boxing team failed to turn up for their plane home after being knocked out of London 2012.
It was feared they were keeping a low profile in the UK in a bid to secure permanent asylum once their Olympic accreditation had expired.
But unable to resist the pull of the punchbags, skipping ropes and medicine balls, the fitness fanatics blew their cover by turning up at a boxing gym in New Cross, South London.
Christian Donfack Adjoufack, 26, Thomas Essomba, 24, Yhyacinthe Mewoli Abdon, 26, Serge Ambomo, 26 and Blaise Yepmou Menouo asked if they could have session at the club with head coach Patrick Harris.
Assistant coach at the gym, Jim Addis, said he and fellow boxers were stunned when the Cameroon competitors turned up at the small side street club.
He said: “We were all gobsmacked when they turned up.
“We were even more dumbfounded when we realised who they were as we know they’d gone missing after being eliminated from the games.
“They knew of Patrick and asked especially for him.
“They all took part in sparring sessions and it was one of the best we’ve ever had.”
Mr Addis said as news spread of the team’s appearance more club regulars came along to see them.
He said: “It was amazing. The gym was packed and the atmosphere was super, it was one of the best nights we’ve had.
“It was a great honour to have them train in the gym, we were all over the moon. They have promised to come back for more training.
“It’s been great for the club and we couldn’t be more honoured.”
Mr Addis said the five fighters told him where they were staying in London but would not reveal their addresses.
Under the Olympic accreditation rules the boxers are free to stay in the UK until November but they will have to apply for permission to remain in the country after that.
Mr Addis said the fighters were planning on applying for permanent residence.
He said: “They told me they wanted to stay here and were very keen to come back to the club.
“We all want to help them as much as we can and understand they will be applying to stay here.”
Source: The Telegraph UK