POLITICS

VIRAL VIDEO: Somali University Sprinter’s Snail-Paced 100-Meter Prompts Sacking, Nepotism Debate

Last Updated: August 03, 2023, 06:40 IST

Mogadishu, Somalia

Somalia's university union denied sending any official team members to the event. The incident raised embarrassment for Somalia as a whole. (Representative image: Reuters)

Somalia’s university union denied sending any official team members to the event. The incident raised embarrassment for Somalia as a whole. (Representative image: Reuters)

Somalia’s sports minister apologizes and suspends federation chairwoman after untrained sprinter’s slow performance at World University Games

At the World University Games in China, Nasra Abukar Ali, a 20-year-old female sprinter from Somalia, caught the eye of social media with her recent race. Seemingly untrained Nasra took over 20 seconds to complete the 100-meter race, trailing far behind the other competitors.

A video of Nasra’s race circulated widely on social media platforms, raising concerns for Somalia as a whole, a country known for its world-class athletes. As the video went viral, Somalia’s university union denied sending any official team members to the event.

The Ministry of Youth and Sports should step down. It’s disheartening to witness such an incompetent government. How could they select an untrained girl to represent Somalia in running? It’s truly shocking and reflects poorly on our country internationally. pic.twitter.com/vMkBUA5JSL— Elham Garaad ✍︎ (@EGaraad_) August 1, 2023

Despite finishing last, Nasra Abukar was seen doing a little celebration by doing a little skip in the air as she crossed the finish line. Her performance at the university games has ignited discussions and questions about how she was selected to compete in the top athletics event.

The slow run prompted Somalia’s sports minister, Mohamed Barre Mohamud, to publicly apologise on Wednesday, Associated Press reported. He ordered the suspension of Khadija Aden Dahir, chairwoman of the national track and field federation, following allegations that Nasra received preferential treatment due to being a relative of Dahir.

People of Somali origin were left fuming on social media, describing the matter as a “national embarrassment.”  “So Embarrassing for the young lady who cannot run. … This is a national tragedy,” wrote Ali Said Faqi, a Somali federal lawmaker, on X.

“As a Somali origin, I feel so embarrassed for her and for the nation. I heard she was selected by a family member who is her aunt and is the minister of sports. This is what corruption can do to a nation. If one thing we are good is running. Be kind to us world we have great examples such Mo Farah and Abdi Bille who are both Somali and won Olympics gold etc,” one of the users commented on Youtube.

“She slowed down at the end and looked comfortable. I reckon she can beat 20 Seconds in her next race,” another said humorously.

Rohit

Rohit is a News18.com journalist with a passion for world affairs and a love for football. Follow him on Twitter at @heis_rohit

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