Somalia suspends sports official after novice runner took 21.81 seconds to complete 100m race

3 August 2023, 13:38

20-year-old Nasra Abukar Ali took over 20 seconds to run 100m
20-year-old Nasra Abukar Ali took over 20 seconds to run 100m. Picture: Social Media

By Asher McShane

A sports official has been suspended by Somalia over nepotism claims after an amateur was sent to compete in an international sporting competition.

Nasra Abubakar Ali raced in the 100m at the World University Games in China, finishing with a time of 21.81 seconds, more than 10 seconds behind the eventual winner.

The Somali Ministry of Youth and Sport said she is “not a sports person, nor a runner.”

The chairwoman of the Somali Athletics Federation was stood down from her role after accusations of an abuse of power and ‘defaming’ Somalia.

The country’s National Olympic Committee did not say what the link between Ms Dahir and Ms Ali is.

Sports Minister Mohamed Barre Mohamud said the incident was an ‘embarrassment’.

"What happened today was not representation of the Somali people... we apologise to the Somali people," he said.

The Association of Somali Universities said it had not appointed any athlete to compete in the event.

The Somali Athletics Federation has launched an investigation.