20 April 2012
Last updated at 00:56
Several sportsmen and women who were born in Africa will play for non-African countries at the London Olympics. Basketball player Luol Deng will represent the UK. He was born and raised in what is now South Sudan but moved with his family to London and is a British citizen. At the age of 14 he moved to the US and became one of most successful players in the NBA. He joined Chicago Bulls in 2004 and played for NBA All Star team in 2012.
Bernard Lagat was born and raised in Nandi District, Kenya, and won Olympic bronze and silver medals in athletics for the East African country at Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004. In 2005, he became a naturalised US citizen and is a double world champion - both indoors and outdoors - for the United States. Recently, he retained the world 3,000m indoor title in Istanbul and will be among favourites for 5,000m and 10,000m in London.
Elvan Abeylegesse was born Hewan Abeye in Addis Ababa and represented Ethiopia at World Junior Cross Country Championships in Belfast in 1999. She became a Turkish citizen the following year after marrying a Turk (from whom she is now divorced), claiming she did not get enough support from the Ethiopian federation. She won Olympic silver in both the 5,000m and 10,000m in Beijing. In 2011 she married her long-term partner Semeneh Debelie and had a child.
British runner Mo Farah was born in Somalia but lived in Djibouti until the age of eight when he moved to London. He initially struggled to adapt to his new country but his natural talent as a runner was identified early on. He won European junior title over 5,000m in 2001. In 2011, he moved with his family to the US to train under Alberto Salazar and just months later won gold in 5,000m and silver in 10,000m at the World Championships in Daegu.
Maryam Jamal was born Zenebech Tola in Ethiopia. She ran the qualifying time to compete in Athens 2004 but the same year left Ethiopia with her husband and sought political asylum in Switzerland. After applying for citizenship in the US, Canada and France, she was finally accepted by Bahrain and changed her name to Maryam Jamal. As a Bahraini athlete she went on to win two gold medals at the World Championships in Osaka in 2007 and Berlin in 2009.
Francis Obikwelu was born in Nigeria and, wearing a Nigerian vest, won double gold at the World Junior Championship in Sydney in 1996, followed by a silver and bronze at the senior World Championships in Athens and Seville. At 16 he moved to Lisbon and became a Portuguese citizen. He won silver for Portugal in the 100m at the 2004 Athens Olympics. He announced his retirement after a disappointing Beijing Games, but changed his mind after becoming European indoor champion in 2011.
Jaysuma Saidy Ndure was born in The Gambia and won the 200m title at the West African Championships in Lagos in 2001. The following year he moved to Norway to join his father who had lived there since the 1970s. Ndure was chosen as the Gambian flag-bearer at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, where he reached the quarter-finals in both the 100m and 200m. He was granted Norwegian citizenship in late 2006 which was described as a “shocking revelation” in his native country.
Chris Froome was born in Nairobi to a British father and represented Kenya at the World Time Trial Championships in 2006. He turned professional in 2007 and rode for Team Konica Minolta in South Africa, where he had moved to as a teenager. In 2010 he joined the British team Sky. In 2011 he came second in the Spanish Volta and was part of the team that helped Mark Cavendish win the World Road Race Championship.