A Ugandan weightlifter who escaped during pre-Olympic training in Japan last week has been located and will be questioned by police, authorities said Tuesday.
Police in central Japan’s Mie Prefecture said the 20-year-old athlete was in Yokkaichi, about 170 kilometers east of his host city. Police are trying to determine what has happened since Sekitoliko fled his hotel in Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, on Friday, leaving a message saying he did not want to go home.
Izumisano officials said Sekitoliko left her luggage and said in the note that she wanted to stay in Japan and find work. The weightlifter did not meet Olympic standards in the latest international rankings released after arriving in Japan and was due to return to Uganda this week.
The Games, which were postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, were open on Friday despite fears of a surge in infections in Tokyo, which on Tuesday recorded 1,387 new cases, compared to 557 a week earlier.
Upon arrival at Narita airport on June 19, one member of the Ugandan team tested positive and was placed in quarantine, while the other eight members were allowed to travel more than 500 kilometers (30 miles) in a chartered bus to Izumisano.
Days later, a second member of the team tested positive, forcing seven local officials and drivers who had been in contact with the team to self-isolate. Health officials said the two Ugandans infected had the Delta variant, which is considered the most contagious.
The team, which ended its isolation and training from July 7, traveled to Olympic Village in Tokyo on Tuesday without Sekitoliko.