Olympic medal hope Mo Farah left Twickenham for Beijing this week with a tinge of sadness as his running mates will be unable to compete with him because of asylum wrangles.
Mr Farah, originally from Somalia, came to the UK in 2000 after his country began to dissolve under the weight of civil war and faction fighting.
He settled in Twickenham and began athletics training at St Mary's College, Twickenham, where he emerged as a serious long-distance running competitor in the 5,000 metres.
While training at St Mary's, Mr Farah befriended two other Somalian refugees, Samatar Farah and Moumin Gelle, who came to the UK in 2001 and 2003 as teenagers escaping persecution by warlords.
The two teenagers became Mr Farah's proteges and have also emerged as outstanding middle-distance runners who could win medals for Britain at the games.
But, while Mr Farah flies to Beijing on Thursday, his two friends remain grounded because their applications for asylum are still being debated by the Home Office.
And, while their status remains unclear, they are unable to leave the country without a valid passport if they wish to return.
Twickenham MP Vince Cable, who helped secure Mo Farah's asylum status, is now trying to help his two friends settle in the UK for good.
"All three are superb athletes but, because of their asylum status, Samatar and Moumin are unable to travel anywhere or compete in the Olympics," he said.
"The situation in Somalia is appalling and these are clearly not phoney cases of asylum.
"Samatar has been waiting for seven years and Moumin five years for a decision on their status and they are currently in a state of limbo.
"After I made representations to the immigration minister, the Home Office has agreed to consider Samatar's case urgently but not, yet, Moumin's."
For now, all Moumin and Samatar will be able to do is to cheer their friend and countryman on when they watch his race on television, along with millions of other Britons.
Meanwhile, Mr Cable said Mr Farah was a very serious contender to bring home a medal for Britain.
"He is the second or third fastest long-distance runner in the world today so there is the potential for a medal," he said.
"I wish him the best of luck for his race."