Somalia: Athletics Chief Suspended Over Sluggish 'Sprinter'
Somalia's Youth and Sports Minister Mohamed Barre Mohamud announced Wednesday that Somali Athletics Federation Chairwoman Khadijo Aden Dahir had been suspended for allegedly abusing her power, nepotism, and defaming the country.
Somalia's Youth and Sports Minister Mohamed Barre Mohamud announced Wednesday that Somali Athletics Federation Chairwoman Khadijo Aden Dahir had been suspended for allegedly abusing her power, nepotism, and defaming the country.1
The announcement comes after her alleged niece Nasra Abukar Ali finished a 100-meter race at the FISU World University Games in Chengdu, China, in 21.81 seconds, an effort dubbed the "slowest-ever" in a global contest.2
The video of Ali competing in the first round prompted ridicule, disbelief, and anger as the runner couldn't run fast enough to stay in view of the camera, jogging toward the finish line and allegedly ending with a small skip.3
An investigation conducted with the nation's National Olympic Committee found that Ali was neither a sportsperson nor a runner and that there was no registered Somali University Sports Association, indicating that her documents had been falsified.4
Abukar is one of many Somali athletes in the spotlight for sluggish running. At the 2016 Olympics, runner Maryan Nuh Muse finished the 400-meter event in 1.10.14 minutes, when the average time was reportedly about 48 seconds.5
Meanwhile, Ali Idow Hassan, Somalia's representative in the men's 1.5K-meter race at FISU Games, finished fourth in his heat and earned a spot in the finals.6
Narrative A, as provided by Middle East Monitor. The poor performance of an untrained female athlete has caused embarrassment to Somalia globally. While it's inevitable that everyone involved in the selection process must step down, ministers should be focused on tackling the real issue — the incompetent and corrupt nature of the Somali institutions that have normalized murders and hunger.
Narrative B, as provided by Kiss FM. All this mockery and backlash are why Somalis don't deserve to be represented in international tournaments. Ali did her best to represent her country instead of abandoning the race despite suffering a sprained leg. Yet, her fellow citizens let her down by criticizing and mocking her sportsmanship.