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Friday, July 30, 2021

Ugandan Weight Lifter Lacking in Japan Amid Olympic Lockdown

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TOKYO — A Ugandan weight lifter who traveled to Japan within the hopes of competing within the Tokyo Olympics was lacking from his resort close to an athletic coaching camp, officers stated on Friday.

Julius Ssekitoleko, 20, certainly one of 9 Ugandans who had been staying in Izumisano — a metropolis in Osaka Prefecture in western Japan — since mid-June was found to be lacking round midday Friday when he failed to indicate up for a coronavirus take a look at.

Olympic organizers have tried to maintain all contributors within the Video games in a “bubble” and in compliance with strict guidelines to stop the unfold of the coronavirus whereas they’re within the nation. Athletes coaching outdoors Japan have been restricted to motels and coaching venues.

Organizers lately introduced that all spectators can be barred from venues in Tokyo, which declared a state of emergency amid an increase in coronavirus circumstances.

Final month, one coach and one athlete with the Ugandan Olympic delegation examined constructive for the coronavirus after arriving in Japan. It’s not clear if Mr. Ssekitoleko was certainly one of them.

The police are conducting a search, stated Katsunobu Kato, the chief cupboard secretary to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. Mr. Kato stated the police and metropolis officers had been making an “all-out effort” to search out Mr. Ssekitoleko.

In keeping with Salim Musoke, the president of the Uganda Weightlifting Federation, Mr. Ssekitoleko didn’t qualify to compete within the Olympics and was scheduled to fly again to Uganda on July 20 earlier than the official opening of the Video games.

Mr. Musoke stated on Friday that he final spoke with Mr. Ssekitoleko three days in the past and was shocked to listen to he had disappeared, on condition that the athletes, coaches and officers had handed over their passports and that the resort the place they had been staying was “nicely guarded.”

“Once I received the message, I puzzled, what occurred in the event that they had been nicely guarded,” Mr. Musoke stated. “What occurred to the safety they’ve been speaking about?”

He was dissatisfied by the information. “Athletes disappearing is just not good for the nation,” Mr. Musoke stated of Japan, which has confronted criticism for insisting that the Video games would go forward.

“I’m praying that they need to get this boy,” Mr. Musoke stated. “The federal government of Japan ought to get this boy, after which we expel him from the game.”

In keeping with Yuji Fukuoka, a spokesman for town of Izumisano, an official who had traveled with the Ugandan delegation checked Mr. Ssekitoleko’s resort room on Friday, and he was not there.

“All we would like is that he’s discovered as quickly as potential,” Mr. Fukuoka stated. “He could be having a troublesome time.”

A spokesman for the Tokyo organizing committee stated it was conscious of the case. “We perceive that Izumisano Metropolis has been looking for the one who has gone lacking,” the committee stated in a press release. “We hope the individual shall be discovered very quickly.”

Musinguzi Blanshe contributed reporting from Kampala, Uganda.

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