Ugandan weightlifter goes missing ahead of Tokyo Olympics, leaves behind note

OLYMPICS |
A police officer wearing a face mask walks past Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games signage at the Main Press Center during the coronavirus outbreak in Tokyo, Japan, July 16, 2021. (Reuters Photo)

An Ugandan weightlifter who went missing from an Olympic training camp on Friday left a note saying he wanted to stay in Japan, media reports said, adding to confusion ahead of the Games which begin next week.

Julius Ssekitoleko was discovered missing from the Ugandan team's training site in Izumisano, a city in Osaka, western Japan.

Media reports said he left behind a note saying he wanted to stay and work in Japan, as life in Uganda was difficult.

Ssekitoleko had not qualified to take part in the Tokyo Games, and was due to return to Uganda next Tuesday.

Julius Ssekitoleko competing at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.[PHOTO COURTESY]

A nearby train station recorded him purchasing a bullet train ticket to Nagoya in central Japan, the reports said.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics, postponed for a year due to the global pandemic, is being held under tight quarantine rules, restricting participants' movements to prevent the spread of infections.

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