A Ugandan weightlifter has gone missing during an Olympic training camp in Japan, one week before the Tokyo Games open, officials said Friday.
Authorities were searching for 20-year-old Julius Ssekitoleko, 20, who failed to show up for a coronavirus test and was not in his hotel room.
“One member of the Ugandan delegation, which the city received as a host town, has gone missing and cannot be reached,” the city of Izumisano said in a statement.
“The city is making all efforts to search for the individual. We have reported the matter to police.”
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.
Ssekitoleko was among the first batch of team Uganda members to arrive in Japan. However, he was later deemed ineligible to compete in the Games and was set to return home early next week after he missed a slot in the 67kg weight category.
Uganda’s delegation arrived in Japan last month and headed for a pre-Games training camp in Izumisano, in the 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.
Athletes and other Olympic participants are subject to strict rules including regular testing and limits on their movement.
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 the capital.
Story compiled with assistance from AFP and Uganda Daily Monitor