13 African athletes go missing at Commonwealth Games in Australia

Updated 12 April 2018

13 African athletes go missing at Commonwealth Games in Australia

GOLD COAST, Australia: Five more African athletes may have vanished from the Commonwealth Games, organizers said Thursday, after eight competitors from Cameroon were suspected of fleeing a day earlier.

Gold Coast organizers confirmed reports that athletes from Rwanda and Uganda were thought to have gone missing, while they were also looking to verify the whereabouts of two squash players from Sierra Leone.

“We’re obviously looking at it very carefully,” Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive David Grevemberg told reporters.

“We have a service to people who have legitimate visas to be in this country,” he added.

“Until it becomes a true issue and somebody has outstayed their visa, or have formally applied for asylum, we just need to continue to monitor the situations.

“The focus now is to support teams in trying to track down the athletes who are missing.”

More than 100 athletes overstayed their visas at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Athlete visas for the Commonwealth Games expire on May 15, Grevemberg said.

Eight athletes from conflict-hit Cameroon — one third of the central African country’s 24-strong team — were said to be missing from the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday, sparking an Australian Border Force manhunt.

As the search continues for Cameroon’s five boxers and three weightlifters, Grevemberg insisted the welfare of the athletes came first.

“We obviously have been in close contact with Cameroon officials,” he said.

“We share their concern regarding obviously the safety, welfare, whereabouts of these athletes.”

Cameroon team manager Victor Agbor Nso told local media he had reported the matter to police on Wednesday.

Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton warned that athletes would be forcibly removed from the country if they attempted to overstay their visas.

“They aren’t going to game the system,” he told local radio. “Australian Border Force officers will find these people (and) they’ll be held in immigration detention until they can be deported.”


Racing in the streets: Jeddah to host first Saudi F1 Grand Prix

Updated 29 October 2020

Racing in the streets: Jeddah to host first Saudi F1 Grand Prix

  • Kingdom’s inaugural race to take place in city while purpose-built track at Qiddiyah is being completed

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s inaugural Formula 1 Grand Prix next year will take place on the city streets of Jeddah.
The Saudi Grand Prix appears on the provisional F1 calendar for 2021 that has been distributed to race teams. It is expected to be the penultimate race of the 2021 season, which will conclude
with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit.
Jeddah will host the Saudi race while a new purpose-built track at Qiddiyah is completed, which is expected to be in 2023.
It is one of 22 races on a provisional 2021 schedule as F1 plans to return to a calendar as close to normal as possible after this year’s disruption. The first 10 races of the 2020 season were either postponed or cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

HIGHLIGHT

The Saudi Grand Prix is one of 22 races on a provisional 2021 schedule as F1 plans to return to a calendar as close to normal as possible after this year’s

The 2021 season will begin in Melbourne, Australia in mid-March and then goes on to Bahrain. It includes nearly all the races that had been due to be held this year.
That means a return for grands prix in China, Japan and Canada, which had to be cancelled because of the disruptions to international travel caused by COVID-19, as well as the debut of the Vietnamese Grand Prix.
F1 has been in conversations with the relevant national governments and all are said to be in agreement the races can take place, unless the pandemic worsens.
In 2018, Riyadh hosted the first Formula E championship in the Middle East in Diriyah with 23,000 in attendance. The second Formula E championship was held in late 2019.
This year, Saudi Arabia held its first Dakar Rally, a 7,800km race that began in Jeddah and finished in Qiddiyah.