Last week, a Ugandan athlete fled during pre-Olympics training in western Japan, officials said. The athlete was located and is being interviewed by police, officials said. Weightlifter Julius Ssekitoleko, 20, was found in Yokkaichi city, 170 kilometers (105 miles) east of his host town. His whereabouts are being investigated after he fled his hotel in Osaka on Friday, leaving behind a note saying he didn’t want to return to his country.
The Izumisano officials said Ssekitoleko left behind his luggage and a note indicating that he wanted to stay in Japan and work. After arriving in Japan and returning home this week, he failed to meet Olympic standards in the latest international rankings. In the midst of the pandemic-delayed Olympics, Tokyo reported 1,387 infections on Tuesday, up 557 from a week ago.
A member of the team tested positive at Narita International Airport on June 19 and was quarantined, while the remaining eight were permitted to travel more than 500 kilometers (300 miles) on a chartered bus to Izumisano. The second member of the team tested positive days later, forcing seven town officials and drivers who had close contact with the team to self-isolate. Officials said both Ugandans were infected with the delta variant, which is more contagious. Since the team returned from its isolation and began training earlier this month, Ssekitoleko is not part of the trip.