Missing Ugandan athlete found ― Japanese police

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A Ugandan athlete who went missing in Japan last week after failing to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics has been found in the Mie prefecture, local police said on Tuesday.

Weightlifter Julius Ssekitoleko was found in the town of Yokkaichi after being registered as missing from a team training camp in Izumisano some 170 kilometres away.Kyodo news agency cited Izumisano officials as saying the athlete left a note at his hotel saying he wanted to work in Japan before buying a train ticket to Nagoya.

Olympic Organising Committee CEO Toshiro Muto said they would seek information before making decisions in the case.

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Under strict Olympic coronavirus regulations, athletes are only allowed to move between their accomodation and venues for training and competition.

Beatrice Ayikoru, head of the Ugandan delegation, had said the 20-year-old lifter was supposed to fly home on Tuesday, adding the team would cooperate with authorities in the search.

The Ugandan team arrived in Japan last month, but after two positive coronavirus tests —- in spite of every member being vaccinated —- they only started training two weeks ago.

The team moved into the athletes village on Tuesday.

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