Government apologises after untrained sprinter gets worst time ever at international 100m race
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The government of Somalia has apologised after sending an untrained sprinter to compete in a world games.
Obviously, the untrained sprinter didn’t do very well, taking over 20 seconds to complete the 100 metre dash.
The whole saga has been described as ‘embarrassing’ and some have even called for the sacking of officials afterwards.
The footage of her race has since gone viral, with many finding it hilarious.
However, not everyone has been so light-hearted about her 21:81 second time.
Somalia’s sports minister Mohamed Barre Mohamud described the incident as an ‘embarrassment’ and said: “What happened today was not representati[ve] of the Somali people ... we apologise to the Somali people.”
Mohamud stressed Abukar Ali was there representing a university rather than the country of Somalia itself, but people still aren’t happy with her performance.
On social media, one person 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.”
Another said that she seemed to be running in ‘slow motion’, and a third comment read: “As a Somali woman, today was not a good day.”
Abukar Ali has allegedly had no previous experience in competitions at this level, so perhaps it isn’t a massive surprise that she’d finish dead last in that sort of time.
However, she did seem happy to have competed, crossing the line with a skip.
This isn’t the first time that a Somalian athlete has caused controversy for something similar to this.
Back at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, an athlete called Maryan Nuh Muse ran a very slow time of 1:10:14 in the 400 metre sprint, finishing a long way behind the other competitors.
The average time for that event is about 48 seconds, for context.
However, lots of people praised her on that occasion, because she took part in the race and pushed back against many things that stop Somali women from taking part in elite level sports.
Others suggested that she had to train on gravel tracks while being made to wear heavy robes by militants.
Her efforts were described as an ‘inspiration’ by some.
At London 2012, another Somali athlete called Zamzam Mohamed Farah ran a time of 1:20:48 in the same 400 metre event, finishing half a minute behind the winner.
She was reported to have received death threats during the games from people in Somalia who don’t think that women have any place participating in sports.