Julius Ssekitoleko went missing from his Olympic training camp in Tokyo. He left a note stating that he wanted to stay back in Japan. This has caused quite a stir in the country ahead of the delayed 2020(1) Olympic Games slated for this week.
The 20 year old Ugandan was reported missing after failing to show up for a scheduled Covid 19 test on Friday. Officials noted that the Japanese police were making an all out effort to apprehend him. He is reported to have stated in the note that life back in Uganda was difficult and he intended to live and work in Japan.
Ssekitoleko had failed to qualify for the games and was due to return to Uganda tomorrow. CCTV cameras recorded him purchasing a bullet train ticket to Nagoya in Central Japan. Following news of his disappearance, the President of the Ugandan Weightlifting Federation, Salim Musoke, told New York Times: “When I got the message, I wondered, what happened if they were well guarded. What happened to the security they have been talking about? Athletes disappearing is not good for the country. I am praying that they should get this boy, and then we expel him from the sport/”
The Ugandan Olympic Committee released a statement stating that they were cooperating with the relevant authorities to locate Mr. Ssekitoleko. Recall that back in 2012, Seven Cameroonian athletes went missing from the Olympic Village in London. Over 20 athletes reportedly vanished during the course of the London Games.