A Ugandan weightlifter who went missing in Japan has reportedly been spotted around 120 miles away from where he was staying on his pre-Olympic training camp.
Julius Ssekitoleko, 20, went missing on Friday after leaving a note at his hotel saying life in his home country was difficult and his team-mates should send his belongings back to his wife.
According to Kyodo News he purchased a train ticket to Nagoya on Friday morning and travelled with only his mobile phone as his passport was kept by the Ugandan team.
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Ssekitoleko, who competed in the men’s 56kg weightlifting final at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in 2018, has apparently been spotted on a security camera at the station.
Athletes are under strict restrictions while in Japan and have to stay at either their hotel, Olympic venues or training grounds.
Ssekitoleko was due to return to Uganda this week after missing out on a place at the Olympics, but police were alerted to his appearance when he failed to show for a Covid-19 test on Friday.
He was reportedly last seen by a team-mate on Friday morning, while Ugandan Weightlifting Federation president Salim Musoke said the last time he spoke to the athlete was on Tuesday, July 13.
He told the 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. The government of Japan should get this boy, and then we expel him from the sport.”

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A statement from the Ugandan Olympic Committee after Ssekitoleko’s disappearance read: “It was anticipated that he would qualify for the games. However he did not make the quota as informed by the International Weightlifting Federation on 5 July 2021.
“He, together with his coach, were due to return to Uganda on 20 July 2021.
“We, during our regular team briefings both in Uganda and in Japan, emphasised inter alia the need to respect the immigration regulations of Japan and not opt to leave the camp without authorisation
“Our team in Izumisano is cooperating with the Osaka authorities to try and locate Mr Sekitoleko. We shall keep you posted on any further developments in this regard.”
The news is another setback for Uganda after two unnamed members of the team tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Japan.
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