Ugandan Weightlifter Goes Missing After Hopes Of Qualifying For The Olympics

Tensions are already raising following the Ugandan weightlifter, Julius Ssekitoleko who went missing in western Japan on Friday. 

Amid the growing local coronavirus concerns, the missing 20-year-old man has his teammates concerned as officials begin their search within the Izumisano, Osaka prefecture. According to city officials, his teammates realized the athlete was absent around noon on Friday when his saliva test sample was not delivered and they found his hotel room empty. As there was no training on Friday morning, he was last seen in his room in the early hours of July 16.

Officials and teammates were unable to locate him within the hotel, as the latter notified police for a broader search. There was no 24-hour surveillance at the hotel, and exactly when or how he got out of the hotel was unknown.

The Olympics begin on July 23 despite growing concern about Tokyo’s upsurge of infections. As of this past week, the host city reported 1,271 cases, after hitting a six-month high at 1,308 in the same timeframe. 

Members of the Ugandan team have tested positive and were quarantined at Narita International Airport on June 19, while the remaining members were allowed to travel more than 500 kilometers (300 miles) on a chartered bus to Izumisano, where their pre-Olympics camp is located. 

Also, a second member of the team from East Africa tested positive for the virus, forcing seven town officials and drivers who had close contact with the team to self-isolate. Health officials said both infected Ugandans had the Delta variant.

Since then, Ugandan team members have ended their quarantine requirement and have been cleared to train with others.

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