Ugandan weightlifter Julius Ssekitoleko was reportedly seen in Nagoya after his disappearance from his National Olympic Committee training camp in Tokyo 2020 in the city of Izumisano.
japanese news agency Kyodo reported that police saw surveillance footage of a man resembling Ssekitoleko at Nagoya Station.
A search has started in the city as authorities believe the weightlifter took a train from Kumatori station, before taking the high-speed train to Nagoya.
The authorities had discovered a note left by Ssekitoleko which read “I want to live in Japan because my life in Uganda is difficult”.
Nagoya is the capital of Aichi Prefecture.
The city is said to have the second largest Ugandan population in Japan.
About 150 Ugandans are believed to be living in the city.
Ssekitoleko had hoped to compete in the men’s weightlifting competition at the Games.
However, he missed a spot in the men’s 67 kilogram competition, having been on a waiting list.
Ssekitoleko was due home tomorrow (July 20).
He was part of a nine-member Ugandan delegation that visited Japan last month, two of whom later tested positive for COVID-19.
One case was reported at the airport, the second discovered after the team arrived at training camp.
This led to the quarantine of the Ugandan team, while sparking discussions in Japan on how the country could strengthen protocols for participants arriving for the Games.
The team was allowed to resume training after completing their quarantine period.
Ssekitoleko’s last test before his disappearance was reportedly negative.
A member of the Ugandan rugby sevens team also disappeared last month in Monaco, after the team played in the last Olympic qualifying tournament.
Six Ugandan athletes were missing at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.
Two Ugandan rugby sevens players went missing after the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and were later found alive in an asylum seekers’ home in Cardiff.