Nasra Ali Abukar, who represented Somalia in the women’s 100m, crossed the finish line in 21.81 seconds, almost 10 seconds behind the winner.
Video of Abukar’s performance has gone viral with the Daily Mail reporting that he is the “slowest” in major international tournaments. The Somali Athletics Federation told local television that an investigation would be launched into the matter. According to journalist Hassan Istilla, Somalia’s Sports Minister Mohamed Barre said he plans to prosecute the officials for “the national disgrace of the country.”
Elham Garaad, a Somali commentator, has criticized the incompetence of the country’s sports authorities. “How could they choose an unprepared girl to represent Somalia in the race? It’s really shocking and reflects poorly on our country internationally,” Garaad said, adding that Abukar is the niece of the senior vice president of the Somali Athletic Federation, Khadija Aden Dahir. “Corruption and nepotism continue,” she wrote.
While a time of 21.81 seconds may be a reasonable time for the average adult, it falls short of the usual World University Games standard. By comparison, the US Olympic women’s 100m team has a qualifying race standard of 11.5 seconds. Abukar’s result is six seconds shy of 15.26 seconds, the slowest time recorded at the 2020 Olympics in the women’s 100m.