Ugandan Olympic fugitive goes missing to start a new life in Japan


The Ugandan Olympic athlete, missing since Friday, fled with the intention of starting a new life, according to a note found in his room that read: “I want to work in Japan.”

20-year-old weightlifter Julius Siketoliko has been in the Japanese city of Izumisano where the Ugandan Olympic team has been setting up accommodation and training facilities ahead of the Tokyo Olympics since the end of June.

The athlete left his hotel without warning and bought an express train ticket to Nagoya early Friday.

The athlete left his hotel without warning and bought a high-speed rail (“Shinkansen”) ticket to Nagoya, about 200 kilometers away, first thing on Friday, according to new details of the investigation released by local Kyodo News on Saturday. .

According to Izumisano officials, Sikitoliko wrote in his memo that he did not want to return to Uganda due to the difficult living conditions in the African country and asked members of his delegation to hand over their property to his wife in their country of origin.

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The athlete’s whereabouts remain unknown at the moment, although a Ugandan representative was able to reach him by phone on Friday afternoon without obtaining further information.

The staff who oversaw the sports delegation’s stay in Izumisano noticed the absence of Seketoliko when he did not show up yesterday morning to deliver the required daily COVID-19 test. The athlete was in the room the night before, according to his teammates.

The weightlifter is one of the nine athletes on the team who were in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 upon their arrival in Japan on June 19 and continued to undergo daily tests stipulated in the Tokyo 2020 antiviral regulations, along with the rest of the athletes. Team.

The staff who oversaw the sports delegation’s stay noticed the absence when they did not show up to provide the required daily COVID-19 test

A municipal spokesperson confirmed to Efe the day before that all recent tests had been negative. In a statement sent to Kyodo, Beatrice Ayikoru, Ugandan Olympic mission chief, said Sikitoliko will return home with her coach next week, and emphasized that during regular briefings, the team emphasized the need to “respect Japanese immigration regulations and not choose to leave the camp without permission.”

Strict regulations put in place to hold the “bubble” Tokyo Games in the middle of the pandemic prohibit athletes or other event participants from traveling anywhere other than their hotel, training venue or locations previously approved by the organization.

The incident occurred a week after the Olympics opened in the Japanese capital and raised concerns about the anti-fatal measures implemented for the event and amid a rebound in COVID-19 cases in the capital.

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