Ugandan weightlifter who went missing from an Olympic training camp on Friday, has turned himself in according to latest report in Tokyo.
Julius Ssekitoleko who was reported missing leaving a note in the hotel turned himself in to a police station in Mie Prefecture – more than three hours’ drive and an 11-hour trip on public transport from his previous hotel base in Izumisano on Tuesday.
Police are understood to be currently taking his testimony on where he went after losing his bearings; he reportedly bought a ticket on the Shinkansen bullet train to Nagoya station in central Japan, where he was photographed.
Ugandan Weightlifting Federation president Salim Musoke had said on Friday the last time he spoke to the athlete was on Tuesday, July 13.
He told the New York Times: ‘When I got the message, I wondered, what happened if they were well guarded. What happened to the security they have been talking about?
‘Athletes disappearing is not good for the country. I am praying they should get this boy. The government of Japan should get this boy, and then we expel him from the sport.’
Following his disappearance, a Ugandan Olympic Committee statement had read: ‘It was anticipated that he would qualify for the games.
‘However, he did not make the quota as informed by the International Weightlifting Federation on 5 July 2021.
‘He, together with his coach, were due to return to Uganda on 20 July 2021. We, during our regular team briefings, emphasised the need to respect the immigration regulations of Japan and not opt to leave the camp without authorisation.’
It is not known yet whether the 20 year old will be sent back home or given a limited visa on humanitarian ground to enable him realise his desire to work in Japan having stated in the note left in the hotel room “I want to work in Japan without returning to a difficult country.”