Somalian runner who clocked ‘slowest-ever’ 100m time ‘is the niece of nation’s athletics federation chairwoman’: Fury over ‘nepotism’ that saw untrained runner finish 10 seconds behind other athletes at the World University Games in China
- Khadija Aden Dahir was accused of ‘abuse of power’ and ‘nepotism’ amid race
- Nasra Abubakar Ali ran 100m in 21.81 secs, 10 seconds slower than other runners
The chairwoman of Somalia’s athletics federation has been suspended amid claims the untrained female runner who clocked an embarrassingly slow 100m sprint time at a recent event is her niece.
Somalia’s Ministry of Youth and Sports accused Khadija Aden Dahir of ‘abuse of power’ and ‘nepotism’ after Nasra Abubakar Ali posted a time of nearly 22 seconds over 100m at the International University Sports Federation (FISU) World University Games in Chengdu, China, on Monday.
Ali’s time was over 10 seconds slower than her fellow competitors, and footage of her performance – which showed how she skipped over the line – incited a torrent of criticism on social media.
Somali Sports Minister Mohamed Barre Mohamud declared an investigation into Ali’s selection had been launched and said Dahir has ‘engaged in acts of abuse of power, nepotism, and defaming the name of the nation’.
The minister subsequently ordered his nation’s Olympic Committee to suspend Dahir from her post, after disgruntled social media users claimed Ali is the chairwoman’s niece and unearthed a Facebook post in which the athletics federation official appeared to congratulate Ali on her graduation.
Nasra Abubakar Ali from Somalia (left) clocked the ‘slowest-ever’ 100metres time at the World University Games in Chengdu, China
Nasra Ali Abukar crossed the finish line alone having clocked a sluggish 21.81 second time
Somalia’s Ministry of Youth and Sports accused Khadija Aden Dahir (pictured) of ‘abuse of power’
Somali social media user Elham Garaad shared this Facebook post from the chairwoman’s profile that appeared to show her congratulating Ali on her graduation
In her 100m sprint heat on Monday, Ali ran the distance in 21.81 seconds, some 10 seconds behind the leaders.
The untrained 20-year-old was not even in the frame as the rest of the field crossed the line.
Mohamud said an investigation conducted with Somalia’s National Olympic Committee revealed Ali was neither a sportsperson, nor a runner.
He also revealed that investigators had discovered that there was no registered Somali University Sports Association, suggesting documents had been falsified to allow Ali to compete at the Games in Chengdu.
‘The Ministry… firmly declares its intention to pursue legal action against both the Chairman of the Athletics Federation of Somalia and individuals responsible for the falsification of the Somali University Sports Association,’ a statement read.
The Ministry also published a signed and stamped document on its social media feed showing the findings of the investigation and recommending Dahar’s removal as chairwoman of the nation’s athletics federation.
Questions were asked on social media as to why Somalia sent such an underprepared athlete to a major international event
‘The Ministry… firmly declares its intention to pursue legal action against both the Chairman of the Athletics Federation of Somalia and individuals responsible for the falsification of the Somali University Sports Association,’ a statement read
There were calls for those responsible for sending the athlete to the event to stand down
It was also claimed that Abukar was the niece of Somalia’s athletics federation president
Elham Garaad, who posted the viral video of Ali’s woeful performance on Twitter, wrote: ‘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.’
In a follow-up tweet, Garaad said: ‘That’s the niece of the President of the Somali Athletics Federation. What [are] you expecting?
‘Nepotism; we have good athletes in Somalia but when it comes to [money emoji] is a different story.’
She also posted a screengrab of a Facebook post from Dahir congratulating her niece on being selected for the University Games.
I am Rakesh Sharma, I associated with Elite News as an Editor, since 2021. I take care of all the news operations like content, budget, hiring and policy making.