The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are still 35 days away but a batch of five athletes will today fly out to Japan for a preparation camp.
This is part of the fruits from the MoU signed between the Ugandan government and the Embassy of Japan in 2018 to help Uganda ease in at the quadrennial Games.
Sports Minister Hon Hamson Obua yesterday flagged off weightlifter Julius Ssekitoleko, swimmer Atuhaire Ambale and three boxers Shadir Musa, Catherine Nanziri and David Semujju to Izumisano City. This will be the first time in the history of the Olympics that Uganda is having a preparatory camp for athletes. And with the prevailing conditions hinged on the coronavirus pandemic, Obua cautioned the group.
“We participate in the Games at the most difficult time in our lifetime. Covid-19 is real, it exists, and it kills,” he said. “It takes individual vigilance including what you’re going to eat. Avoid situations that will expose you. This is your golden opportunity.”
Izumisano is located in the Osaka Prefecture. “It will be accepting the Uganda team as a host town as it has a long lasting history of friendship with Uganda,” remarked Horii Mizumoto, the Embassy of Japan’s Charge d’Affair.
Izumisano produces 47 percent of towels manufactured in Japan and it imports cotton from Uganda. It is also a sister to Uganda’s Gulu City.
“Upon arrival in Izumisano, I am sure the Ugandan team will enjoy Omotenashi, the Japanese hospitality, cutting edge technology, rich culture and beautiful sceneries. It will be a wonderful experience for you,” Mizumoto told the departing contingent.