International

Ugandan Weight Lifter Missing in Japan Amid Olympic Lockdown

Written by Tamarindo News

TOKYO — A Ugandan weight lifter who traveled to Japan in the hopes of competing in the Tokyo Olympics has gone missing from his hotel near an athletic training camp, officials said on Friday.

Julius Ssekitoleko, 20, one of nine Ugandans who had been staying in Izumisano — a city in Osaka Prefecture in western Japan — since mid-June was discovered to be missing around noon Friday when he failed to show up for a coronavirus test.

Olympic organizers have tried to keep all participants in the Games in a “bubble” and in compliance with strict rules to prevent the spread of the coronavirus while they are in the country. Athletes training outside Japan have been restricted to hotels and training venues.

Organizers recently announced that all spectators would be barred from venues in Tokyo, which declared a state of emergency amid a rise in coronavirus cases.

Last month, two people traveling with the Ugandan Olympic delegation tested positive for the coronavirus after arriving in Japan. It is not clear if Mr. Ssekitoleko was one of them.

The police are conducting a search, said Katsunobu Kato, the chief cabinet secretary to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. Mr. Kato said the police and city officials were making an “all-out effort” to find Mr. Ssekitoleko.

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

“All we want is that he’s found as soon as possible,” Mr. Fukuoka said. “He might be having a tough time.”

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