Weightlifter Goes AWOL

Ugandan weightlifter Julius Ssekitoleko has gone missing from his accommodation in Japan.

The development has been confirmed when authorities searched for Ssekitoleko in his hotel room for a coronavirus test as it is by law but was not available.

He failed to conduct a required PCR test by shortly after noon and the alarm was raised when he was not found in his hotel room.

Uganda Olympic Committee has released a statement on Ssekitoleko’s issue

“We have learnt from our team leader in Izumisano Osaka City, that one member of the team that was in the pre training camp has gone missing. Our team in Izumisano Osaka is cooperating with the authorities to try and locate Mr. Ssekitoleko.”

Ssekitoleko was part of the first batch of the Uganda delegation that traveled to Japan last month.

He was due to return home early next week after missing out on a slot in the 67kg weight category at the global games.

Uganda’s delegation arrived in Japan last month, headed for a pre-Games training camp in Izumisano, in Osaka region.

But a coach tested positive on arrival, and other delegation members were subsequently asked to self-isolate, with a second member later testing positive.

Virus cases are rising in Tokyo, which is under a state of emergency, and there is heavy scrutiny in Japan of infection risks linked to the Games.

The 20 year old was set to become the country’s ninth lifter in the Games’ history but missed a slot across two quotas.

Weightlifter Goes AWOL

Ssekitoleko’s miss means that for the first time in Olympic history, Uganda will present more women (13) than men (12) at the games scheduled to kick off next week.

The Games open in a week’s time, but spectators have been barred from all events in Tokyo and surrounding areas, and will be allowed into just a handful of venues outside Osaka.