Missing: Mami Konneh Lahun, 24, who finished 20th in yesterday's London Marathon, has disappeared, Scotland Yard has said
A female athlete who finished 20th in the London Marathon may have fled to avoid flying back to Sierra Leone.
Mami Konneh Lahun, 24, was last seen after finishing the 26.2 mile course yesterday and is due to return home today.
Police have put out an appeal after Miss Lahun failed to return to her temporary accommodation in Greenwich yesterday.
MailOnline understands she was allowed into Britain to compete on a temporary visa.
The athlete, who is Sierra Leone's fastest-ever 5,000 metre and 10,000 metre runner, last year won her country's marathon and in neighbouring Liberia.
She is the first woman from Sierra Leone to have represented the country at the London Marathon.
Scotland Yard said she arrived in Britain a week ago to prepare for the marathon, and finished in just over 2 hours 46 minutes.
Detectives looking into her disappearance say she has no known links to the UK and does not have a mobile phone.
It came after the London Olympics in 2012, where dozens of athletes and coaches disappeared or claimed asylum after the Games.
The Mail revealed that seventy claimed political asylum after the Olympics and more than have were given refugee status.
Last year police admitted they were still looking for 21 people who just vanished, with one official saying that some had competed then ‘simply wandered off to make a better life’ in Britain.
Those who failed to return home were from countries including the Ivory Coast, Guinea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Cameroon and Sudan.
Start: Miss Lahun was part of the elite women's race, pictured here sprinting at the start on Blackheath yesterday
Inquiry: The athlete was last seen after crossing the finishing line in The Mall yesterday and failed to appear at her accommodation in Greenwich
Talented: Mami Konneh Lahun was part of the front pack in the elite women's race yesterday, finishing a creditable 20th in 2hrs 46mins
Among those believed to have claimed asylum were the Congolese judo coach Ibula Masengo, athletics director Guy Nkita and boxing trainer Blaise Bekwa.
The Eritrean athlete Weynay Ghebresilasie, 18, was one of four from his country to claim asylum before the Games finished. He said he was doing so because of ‘harsh conditions’ and ‘lack of basic human rights’ in Eritrea.
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Mami Konneh Lahun asked to call 101, quoting reference 14MIS012462.
Home: Mami Konneh Lahun, 24, is the first female runner from Sierra Leone to represent her country in the London Marathon