Updated: July 22, 2021 1:28:27 pm
An Ugandan athlete who fled during pre-Olympics training in western Japan last week has been found and was deported back to his country on Thursday. When leaving the country, he was seen at the airport in an old Indian Olympics jersey.
The Ugandan embassy in Japan announced on Wednesday that they were working with Japanese authorities to take him back.
Mie prefectural police in central Japan had said earlier on Tuesday that 20-year-old weightlifter Julius Ssekitoleko was in the Yokkaichi city, 170 kilometers (105 miles) east of his host town in western Japan. Police are asking him what happened since he fled his hotel in Izumisano in the Osaka prefecture Friday, leaving behind a note saying he didn’t want to return to his country.
Ssekitoleko left behind his luggage and a note saying he wanted to stay in Japan and work, Izumisano officials said. He did not meet Olympic standards in the latest international rankings released after he arrived Japan and was to return home this week.
The Ugandan team, which ended its isolation and trained from July 7, headed to Tokyo’s Olympic village on Tuesday without Ssekitoleko.
(With AP inputs)
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