March 10, 2015 By Sahr Morris Jr.
Sierra Leone’s top sprinter, Jimmy Thoronka, who went missing after the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last summer, is currently struggling on the streets of London.
According to a report published on Friday by The Guardian in the UK, the 20-year-old 100 meters sprinter has been found in an emaciated state, living rough on the streets of London.
In describing what has happened to him since he vanished, the youngster – who is homeless – said he is feeling the devastation of the Ebola virus which he said has wreaked his family back home, who had adopted him after the death of his birth parents.
“I was very excited to be coming to the Games in Glasgow,” he said. “I saw it as my big chance. I had competed in international competitions before in Singapore and the Isle of Man, but this was the big one for me.”
Thoronka said: “I was hoping to win a medal for my country. But during the Games I got the terrible news that my uncle had died, probably from Ebola. I couldn’t stop crying. It was difficult to continue with competing but I tried to carry on.”
Thoronka competed in one 4x100m relay at the Games, but failed to win any medals. He was making times of 10.58 seconds for the 100m sprint before the competition.
According to The Guardian, the sprinter now washes his set of spare clothes in the public toilets and then spreads them out on the grass in the park to dry.
Thoronka described what happened after the Games. “I wanted to go to London for a while after the Games but my bag with my money and passport in it was stolen at Glasgow station. I was scared to go to the police in case they arrested me and put me in a cell, so I begged someone at the station to pay my fare to London and he agreed to do that.”
The athlete then managed to make contact with an acquaintance who initially agreed that he could stay with him and his wife in Leicester.