Commonwealth Games: Cameroonian athletes disappear

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Eight competitors from Cameroon were suspected to have fled on Wednesday, before the confirmation today that athletes from Rwanda and Uganda have also gone into the thin air.

Nine Cameroon athletes disappeared at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

The Cameroon team manager, Victor Agbor Nso, told the country's state broadcaster that the Cameroonian ministry of sports have been notified. "Why did they take action on both athletes?"

A sixth Cameroon athlete, Ulrich Rodrigue Yombo, was on Wednesday confirmed missing after he failed to appear at the weigh-in on Wednesday ahead of the quarter-final bout in the 81kg division.

Queensland Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones said that the Australian Federal Police "are keeping a watching brief on these athletes".

While coach Mark Hopkins may point to a "super-exciting young side with unlimited talent", the real trick will be convincing SASCOC to permit them to travel to the next big worldwide competition - the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The officials said they viewed the disappearance of the athletes as "desertion" and that they had been reported to Australian police.

Two Ugandans were reportedly missing but team officials were adamant all of their athletes and officials were accounted for.

The Cameroon team's press attaché Simon Molombe said: "They just left in the night".

Games officials are stumped over the whereabouts of the Cameroonian athletes, five of whom are boxers and three of whom are weight lifters.

Officials of Team Cameroon are said to have been disappointed after eight athletes went missing from their accommodation at the Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Three left the on Sunday night, two more the following day and then three more on Tuesday night.

"But out here, only six of them effectively took part in their respective competitions, while two left without competing".

"We would appreciate them sticking within the law, enjoying themselves, but sticking within the law", organising committee boss Peter Beattie told reporters.

"In qualifiers, I think I did a pretty good job and I'm happy with my result, but for the final it was a little bit tough because of the conditions and there was a little bit of pressure", said the Nanyang Polytechnic student.