The final leg of what started out has an Olympic dream ended on Friday for Ugandan Athlete Julius Ssekitoleko as he returned home.
The 20-year-old weightlifter fled during pre-Olympics training in western Japan last week leaving behind a note saying he didn’t want to return to his country.
Ssekitoleko had wanted to stay in Japan and work, officials said.
He did not meet Olympic standards in the latest international rankings released after he arrived Japan.
Speaking to the media while waiting for the return of her husband at Entebbe at airport, a teary, pregnant Desire Nampewo said she had been in touch with her husband.
“Julius has not been well,” she said. “He thought that when he goes that side (to Japan) he was going to make a good life for us as a family and we were expecting a lot from him.”
The Ugandan government insists that his action violated the Code of Conduct, which each member of the team pledged to abide by.
Reverend Canon Duncan Mugumya – the commissioner for physical planning and sports, who was at the airport to receive the Athlete from the Japanese official said the ministry will ensure that he is properly rehabilitated.
Uganda first participated at the Olympic Games in 1956. Since then Ugandan athletes have won a total of seven medals, all in athletics and boxing.
The east African nation has sent athletes to compete in every Summer Olympic Games except for the boycotted 1976 Summer Olympics