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Category: Sierra Leone

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Sierra Leonean athlete can stay in UK after three-year legal fight

Jimmy Thoronka, who was found sleeping rough a year after competing at Commonwealth Games, granted leave to remainA Sierra Leonean sprinter who absconded from the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 and was found sleeping rough on the streets of Lond…

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Jimmy Thoronka: Sierra Leone athlete inundated with offers of help after arrest

Guardian readers offer food, shelter and money to support Commonwealth Games athlete arrested over expired visa after he was found homeless in London Continue reading…

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Sierra Leone sprinter Jimmy Thoronka released from police custody

The homeless athlete was arrested for overstaying his visa but has now been taken to Home Office accomodation

Jimmy Thoronka, the athlete from Sierra Leone who disappeared at the end of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last August and was then arrested in London on Friday, has been released from police custody and taken to Home Office accommodation.

The whereabouts of the 20-year-old, Sierra Leone’s leading 100m sprinter, had been a mystery until last week.

Related: Jimmy Thoronka: concerns raised over Sierra Leone athlete’s welfare after arrest

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Sierra Leone sprinter Jimmy Thoronka released from police custody

The homeless athlete was arrested for overstaying his visa but has now been taken to Home Office accomodation

Jimmy Thoronka, the athlete from Sierra Leone who disappeared at the end of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last August and was then arrested in London on Friday, has been released from police custody and taken to Home Office accommodation.

The whereabouts of the 20-year-old, Sierra Leone’s leading 100m sprinter, had been a mystery until last week.

Related: Jimmy Thoronka: concerns raised over Sierra Leone athlete’s welfare after arrest

Continue reading…

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Jimmy Thoronka: fears mount for welfare of Sierra Leone sprinter

Athlete, in distressed and emaciated state after winter of living rough in London, held by police pending probable deportationConcern is mounting over the welfare of top sprinter Jimmy Thoronka, who is thought to be distressed following his arrest on F…

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Jimmy Thoronka: concerns raised over Sierra Leone athlete’s welfare after arrest

Sprinter who disappeared after Commonwealth Games has been interviewed by immigration officials at a London police station

Concern is mounting over the welfare of Sierra Leone’s top sprinter, Jimmy Thoronka, who is understood to be in a distressed state following his arrest on Friday night after he was found in an emaciated state living rough on the streets of London.

It is understood that Thoronka, who is being held at Walworth police station in Elephant & Castle, has been interviewed by immigration officials who will attempt to remove him to Sierra Leone. He is understood to be frightened and tearful in custody.

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Top Sierra Leone athlete arrested after he was found living rough in London

Jimmy Thoronka, who vanished after Commonwealth Games, says he can’t go home because Ebola has wiped out his family

Sierra Leone’s top sprinter, who vanished after the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last summer, has been arrested after he was found in an emaciated state, living rough on the streets of London.

Jimmy Thoronka, 20, his country’s number one 100m sprinter, and tipped by some for a big sporting career, disappeared at the end of the Games last August. Along with several other athletes he failed to return to Sierra Leone, and until now his whereabouts had been unclear.

Continue reading…

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Sierra Leone’s top sprinter living homeless and hungry in London – video

After last summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Sierra Leone’s top sprinter Jimmy Thoronka, 20, went missing. The Guardian has found him hungry and homeless in London. While in the UK, Jimmy received the devastating news that his family had been wip…

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Sierra Leone’s Isha Johansen blazes trail amid tragedy and infighting

One of only two female FA presidents in the world on dealing with Ebola, fractious internal politics and sexism while building on a passion for the game

Isha Johansen remembers the first time she heard about Ebola. One Sunday morning in Freetown, the president of the Sierra Leone Football Association – one of only two female FA presidents in the world – was looking through the newspapers when her husband read aloud a story about an outbreak of a virus in neighbouring Guinea. It had ravaged the population of a rural area. “These things you hear about, you think: ‘That’s so sad, I hope it sorts itself out,’” says the 50-year-old. But what felt like a remote problem soon came closer to home.

A few weeks later, in early April 2014, Sierra Leone were due to cross the border and play Guinea in an African Under-20 Championship qualifier. Johansen was worried. “A week before leaving I had talks with our competitions manager and the general secretary of the FA. I said: ‘Maybe this is because I’m a mother, I know how I would feel if my child had to go to Guinea and there’s an outbreak there. I’m not sure I want our boys to go. Why don’t we contact the World Health Organisation and find out more?’ I was told not to make a fuss.”

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Top Sierra Leone athlete arrested after he was found living rough in London

Jimmy Thoronka, who vanished after Commonwealth Games, says he can’t go home because Ebola has wiped out his family

Sierra Leone’s top sprinter, who vanished after the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last summer, has been arrested after he was found in an emaciated state, living rough on the streets of London.

Jimmy Thoronka, 20, his country’s number one 100m sprinter, and tipped by some for a big sporting career, disappeared at the end of the Games last August. Along with several other athletes he failed to return to Sierra Leone, and until now his whereabouts had been unclear.

Continue reading…

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Jimmy Thoronka: Sierra Leone athlete inundated with offers of help after arrest

Guardian readers offer food, shelter and money to support Commonwealth Games athlete arrested over expired visa after he was found homeless in London

Jimmy Thoronka has been inundated with offers of help from Guardian readers and requests for media interviews since the first report four days ago that the athlete had been found starving and homeless in London after coming to Britain for last summer’s Commonwealth Games.

Since Friday lunchtime when the Guardian broke the story that Sierra Leone’s top 100-metre sprinter was sleeping rough and going hungry, thousands from all over the world have responded to his plight.

Related: Jimmy Thoronka: concerns raised over Sierra Leone athlete’s welfare after arrest

Related: Sierra Leone sprinter Jimmy Thoronka released from police custody

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The campaign to help Jimmy Thoronka shows the internet’s power for good

Social media isn’t just about sharing memes. At its best it can help us reach out to those in desperate need, and provide a way to express our common humanity

Last Friday afternoon I was writing my PhD first year report. I was on a deadline and still had a chapter to write. I’m researching how social networks and crowdsourcing can help people in poverty and crisis.

I took a break to read the news and saw Diane Taylor’s article about Jimmy Thoronka. I immediately felt terrible for him. Jimmy made it to the Commonwealth Games and then found out while in the UK that his family had died as a result of Ebola. It must have been the worst news of his life. He lost his uncle, adopted mother, sisters and brother. He had already lost his parents in the Sierra Leone civil war when he just a child. The dreadful news knocked him for six and he ended up homeless and living rough in London.

Related: Jimmy Thoronka: Sierra Leone athlete inundated with offers of help after arrest

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African players starting to feel backlash of fears over Ebola outbreak

Ivory Coasts Siaka Tiéné examined by Montpellier on return
Sierra Leones John Kamara told to stay away by Greek club
Morocco may withdraw as 2015 Africa Cup of Nations hosts Continue reading…

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Sierra Leones Kei Kamara: I missed out on Wolves move due to Ebola outbreak

Former Middlesbrough striker had work permit turned down Sierra Leone have been banned from playing home matches Continue reading…

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Commonwealth Games 2014: Sierra Leone cyclist reported missing

Mohamed Tholley may be fearful of return to homeland team Team-mate Moses Sesay found not to have Ebola after tests Continue reading…

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‘Don’t ruin a brilliant career’: friends’ plea to missing London marathon star

Sierra Leone’s prodigy, Mamie Konneh Lahun, vanished after last week’s race. Now her friends and manager say they fear that she is throwing away her chance of happiness and success Continue reading…

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Celebrity disaster relief – what not to do

When Downton Abbey’s Lady Cora went to Sierra Leone, it turned into a PR disaster. Here’s some advice to charities