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Somalia outraged at sending of 'untrained' woman athlete to major sporting event in China

August 2, 2023 at 2:46 pm

Nasra Abukar Ali (C) at the 31st Summer World University Games in Chengdu, China [CCTV]

Somali netizens in the country and abroad have criticised national sports authorities for nepotism and corruption in the selection process for sending woman athlete, Nasra Abukar Ali, to the ongoing 31st Summer World University Games in Chengdu, China, where she finished last in the 100-meter race, Anadolu Agency reports.

Though no new records were set in the sports event, a video of a 20-year-old Somali sportswoman finishing the 100-meter race in 21 seconds went viral on social media, with netizens dubbing her the “worst athlete” in the game.

Some Somalis took to social media to criticise the Ministry of Youth and Sports for sending an “untrained” athlete to a high-profile event.

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“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,” Elham Garaad expressed his thought on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, on Wednesday.

Abdi Yare Mohamed, a sports enthusiast in Mogadishu, told Anadolu that the Somali runner’s performance on Tuesday was “a national embarrassment” and that “everyone involved in the selection process should resign immediately.”

Others took to social media to demand answers from the Somali Olympics Committee and the Ministry.

“If you want to see a doomed society, just look at the reactions of its elites like key ministers to a young woman’s performance in a University competition. You should be embarrassed with the daily corruption, murders, clan-phobia & hunger normalised by everyone,” Ahmed stated on X.

Minister of Sports and Youth, Mohamed Barre Mohamud, told the media that his Ministry will launch an investigation into the selection process that led Nasra to represent Somalia at the major sports event.

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