Ugandan Weightlifter Disappears Amid Olympic Lockdown In Japan


TOKYO – A Ugandan weightlifter traveling to Japan in hopes of competing in the Tokyo Olympics has disappeared from his hotel near an athletics training camp, officials said on Friday.

Julius Ssekitoleko, 20, one of nine remaining Ugandans in Izumisano, a city in western Japan’s Osaka Prefecture, was discovered missing at noon on Friday after failing to show up for a coronavirus test.

The organizers of the Olympics tried to keep all participants in the Games in a “bubble” and in accordance with strict rules, to prevent the spread of the corona virus while in the country. Athletes training outside of Japan restricted to hotels and training centres.

Organizers recently announced all spectators will be banned From venues in Tokyo that have declared a state of emergency due to the rise in coronavirus cases.

Last month, two people traveling with the Ugandan Olympic delegation tested positive for coronavirus after arriving in Japan. It is unclear whether Ssekitoleko is one of them.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s cabinet secretary, Katsunobu Kato, said police were searching. Mr. Kato said that the police and city authorities were “making all their efforts” to find Mr. Ssekitoleko.

According to Yuji Fukuoka, spokesman for the city of Izumisano, an official traveling with the Ugandan delegation checked Mr. Ssekitoleko’s hotel room on Friday and he was not there.

“All we want is to be found as soon as possible,” said Mr. Fukuoka. “She may be having a hard time.”


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