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Page added on July 14, 2012

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First batch of Sierra Leone delegation arrives in London

First batch of Sierra Leone delegation arrives in London thumbnail

The first set of the Sierra Leone delegation which comprises of Chef de Mission Unisa Deen Kargbo, Bernard Turay, Ibrahim Turay the athlete and coach Abu White Kamara arrived in the UK at exactly 6:30 am on Thursday July 13th 2012 at Heathrow Airport, London, ahead of the Olympic Games.  (Photo: Bernard & Abu White Kamara in London)

The Journey to London started at around 23:40 with BMI five minutes ahead of the usual time.  At the Lungi International Airport we wasted over an hour for three of us apart from the chef de Mission Unisa Deen Kargbo who had a UK Visa in his passport, as they had to stop the three of us to check certain qualificatiosn about the Pre-Valid card which was given to us as accreditation to enter the UK.  After confirmation that it was real, they gave us the green light!

At the Heathrow airport we were collected by some of the volunteers at the airport who took us through all the checking process before we collected our luggage. At the airport former athlete Prince Amara, who is presently the 800 meters record holder in the country, because of the cold weather gave the three of us a coat each and a host of other items.  By then the Chef De Mission Unisa Deen Kargbo left for the final Registration meeting and I (Bernard Turay) was in charge of the delegation until they picked us up with a minivan to the Hasting camp Committee where the Sierra Leone delegation  are to camp before heading to the Olympic Village in a week’s time .

Ibrahim Turay during his training session

After about a two hour drive from the airport, we arrived at the White Rock hotel in Hastings where journalists from the BBC were waiting for us to conduct an interview.

Sierra Leone athlete Ibrahim Turay who will be competing in the 200 meters was invited for an interview by Sally Nan Carrow who works for the BBC in South–East London.  Later BBC journalist Chrissie Reidy met Ibrahim Turay at the training field in Hastings to film footage of Ibrahim Turay before his interview.

After the interviews we returned back to the hotel to continue and plan our programmes for the coming days.  Another Sierra Leone athlete, Ola Sesay travelling from the USA is expected  to join the training camp in Hastings, and a second batch of athletes are expected to arrive on Monday July 16th 2012.

By Bernard Turay in Hasting at White Rock Hotel in London

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