Tokyo Olympics: Ugandan Weighlifter Goes Missing in Japan, Leaves Note

Tokyo Olympics: Ugandan Weighlifter Goes Missing in Japan, Leaves Note

  • Julius Ssekitoleko was scheduled to be flown back to Uganda on Tuesday, July 20
  • He went missing on Friday and had not qualified to take part in the Tokyo Games
  • Reports claim he left a note saying he did not want to go back to Uganda as life was hard in his home country

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A massive search has been launch to find a Ugandan weightlifter who went missing in Tokyo, one week to the start of the Olympics.

Julius Ssekitoleko, Ugandan weightlifter.
Julius Ssekitolek has gone missing days to his scheduled return to his native country. Photo: CBS.
Source: UGC

Julius Ssekitoleko went missing from his team’s camp in Izumisano, a city in Osaka, western Japan on Friday, July 16.

Media reports from CNN claim Ssekitoleko left a note saying he wanted to stay and work in Japan, as life in his native Uganda was difficult.

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The 20-year old weightlifter failed to qualify for the games after his arrival in Japan and was scheduled to fly back to Uganda on Tuesday, July 20.

He was recorded at a train station purchasing a bullet train ticket to Nagoya in central Japan, reports further claim.

In the said note, Ssekitoleko reportedly made it clear he did not want to return to Uganda and requested his belongings to be sent back to his wife.

Officials initially noticed he was missing on Friday afternoon when his Covid-19 test sample had not been submitted.

City official Osamu Mizoguchi further revealed authorities had been searching for the 20-year old to no avail.

Ssekitoleko was very optimistic about the summer games in Tokyo, as he previously competed in the Men's 56kg weightlifting final at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

At the time, he was only aged 17 yet he showed impressive strength in weightlifting.

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Uganda’s woes in Tokyo

It has not been smooth sailing for team Uganda in Tokyo so far.

According to CBS Sports, a member of the team tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival at the Narita International Airport on June 19.

Days later and another member tested positive, forcing all the people he came into contact with to go into quarantine.

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Meanwhile, had earlier reported that ESPN reporter Stephen Smith is getting clap backs from professional Nigerian Nigerian basketball stars for his recent derogatory comments.

Veteran basketballer Deji Akindele is the latest player to call out the journalist who aired his frustrations on national television, where he spoke rudely about the D'Tigers following their victory over the United States.

The Nigerian D'Tigers recorded an emphatic 90-87 scoreline over the number four team in the world and the favourites to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics in a warm-up friendly recently.


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