Missing Ugandan Olympic Weightlifter Found


TOKYO – A man who introduces himself as a Ugandan weightlifter disappeared After leaving his hotel room at a training camp in Osaka, Japan last week, he was found by police in a town about 100 miles away. In a statement from the Ugandan government, it was stated that the man was a missing athlete.

The man, identified as Julius Ssekitoleko, 20, a weightlifter who did not qualify for his country’s Olympic squad and was originally scheduled to fly to Uganda on Tuesday, was found with stones at an acquaintance’s home in Yokkaichi City, Mie prefecture. ID.

Mr. Ssekitoleko was found missing from his hotel room on Friday after failing to show up for a daily coronavirus test in Izumisano. He left a note stating that he wanted to work in Japan. The police have been looking for him ever since.

Naoki Fukuyama, an official with the Osaka prefectural police department, said police had consulted with the Ugandan embassy on where to turn him over. Eight other teammates, who also train at Izumisano, moved to the Olympic Village on Monday.

in a statement published at excitementThe Ugandan Embassy in Tokyo said it was working with Japanese authorities to ensure the “safe and secure” return of Mr Ssekitoleko to Uganda early Wednesday.

“Any issues related to his alleged escape from the mission he was flying to perform in Japan and his disappearance from training camp will be appropriately addressed on his return to Uganda,” the statement said.

in Kampala, Okello Oryem, a junior minister in Uganda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, described Mr Ssekitoleko as a “traitor”.

“This behavior and behavior is treacherous,” Mr Oryem told reporters after meeting with the Japanese ambassador in Kampala.

According to Mr. Fukuyama, police had tracked Mr. Ssekitoleko on a security camera while he was taking the bullet train from Osaka to Nagoya, where he met another man and drove to Gifu in central Japan.

Police officers visited this man’s home, where they said Mr. Ssekitoleko had moved to another home in Yokkaichi, where police found him on Tuesday afternoon.

β€œHe may be a hero in his country, but he felt it was difficult to come back to the country as he learned that he could not compete at the Games,” said Mr. Fukuyama. He must have hoped to win and bring the gold medal back to his country. I’m sorry for him. I am relieved that he has been found and while many citizens are worried, I want to hand him over as soon as possible.”

Last month, a coach and an athlete with the Ugandan Olympic delegation tested positive for coronavirus after arriving in Japan. It was unclear whether Mr. Ssekitoleko was one of them.

“He’s not a criminal,” said Mr. Fukuyama. “Despite violating Olympic rules, he has no problem doing anything because his visa is valid.”

Musinguzi Blanshe contributed to news from Kampala, Uganda.


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