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Ugandan weightlifter who fled pre-Olympics training found

Ugandan athlete who fled during pre-Olympics training in western Japan last week has been found and is being interrogated by police
Mie prefectural police in central Japan said 20-year-old weightlifter Julius Ssekitoleko was in Yokkaichi, a city 105 miles east of his host town in western Japan. Police are asking him what happened since he fled his hotel in Izumisano in the Osaka prefecture Friday, leaving behind a note saying he didn’t want to return to his country
Ssekitoleko left behind his luggage and a note saying he wanted to stay in Japan and work, Izumisano officials said. He did not meet Olympic standards in the latest international rankings released after he arrived Japan and was to return home this week
On their arrival on June 19 at Narita International Airport, a member of the team tested positive and was quarantined, while the remaining eight members were allowed to travel more than 300 miles on a chartered bus to Izumisano
Days later, a second member of the team tested positive, forcing seven town officials and drivers who had close contact with the team to self-isolate. Health officials said both infected Ugandans had the delta variant, which is believed to be more contagious
The team, which ended its isolation and trained from July 7, headed to Tokyo’s Olympic village on Tuesday without Ssekitoleko
In a statement released on Tuesday afternoon, Amb. Martinez Arapta Mangusho the Deputy Head of Mission said preparations are underway to have the athlete safely retune home
“The Embassy is working closely with competent Japanese authorities in Tokyo to enable Ssekitoleko to continue with the hitherto arranged safe and secure return to Uganda as soon as ,July,21, 2021,” Mangusho said.

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