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Somalia suspend athletics chair after runner takes 21 seconds to finish 100m

Jul 15, 2023Jul 15, 2023

Aug 3 (Reuters) - Somalia's minister of youth and sports suspended the chairwoman of the country's athletics federation and is set to initiate legal action after a female sprinter took more than 21 seconds to complete the 100 metres at the World University Games.

Nasra Abukar Ali lined up for the women's 100m at the student games in China but she finished dead last, more than 10 seconds behind the race winner who clocked 11.58 seconds.

In a clip that went viral on social media, the untrained 20-year-old was not even in the frame as the rest of the field crossed the line.

Sports Minister Mohamed Barre Mohamud said an investigation was conducted with Somalia's National Olympic Committee which revealed Ali was neither a sports person nor a runner.

"Khadijo Aden Dahir, the Chairwoman of the Somali Athletics Federation, has engaged in acts of abuse of power, nepotism, and defaming the name of the nation in (the) international arena," the minister said in a statement. It did not elaborate on the charge of nepotism.

"Based on these findings, the Chairman of the Somalia National Olympics committee should suspend Khadijo Aden.

"Furthermore, 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."

The ministry added that the investigation also revealed that there was no registered Somali University Sports Association.

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