Why Was an Untrained Runner Sent to an International Event: The Case of Nasro Abukar Ali

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In the world of competitive sports, representing one’s nation on an international stage is a dream that many athletes aspire to achieve. It’s an opportunity to showcase one’s talent, dedication, and determination. However, the recent case of Nasro Abukar Ali, a Somali runner, at the International University Sports Federation’s (FISU) Summer World University Games in China, has raised serious questions about the preparation and selection process for such events.

Nasro Abukar Ali competed in the third heat of the first round of the women’s 100-meter race at the FISU Games in China. Her finishing time was 21.81 seconds, a performance that placed her more than 8 seconds behind the second-last runner in her heat and more than 10 seconds behind the heat’s winner. Such a significant gap in performance raises eyebrows and prompts us to ask: Why was an untrained runner sent to an international event?


The Ministry of Youth and Sports of Somalia has taken action in response to this concerning situation. It has suspended Khadijo Aden Dahir, the chairwoman of the Somali Athletics Federation, alleging her involvement in “acts of abuse of power, nepotism, and defaming the name of the nation in the international arena.” This suspension highlights the seriousness of the situation and the need for accountability within the Somali Athletics Federation.

While it’s essential to address the issue at hand, it’s also worth noting that China, despite its rich history and natural beauty, has faced criticism on the international stage for its human rights abuses and treatment of ethnic minorities. However, for the purpose of this article, our focus remains on the sports-related aspect of the story.


The sight of a competitor struggling on an international stage is undeniably heart-wrenching. Nasro Abukar Ali, despite her challenges, displayed courage by representing her home nation. Running, often considered one of the most natural sports for humans, has deep roots in our primal instincts, dating back to when our ancestors chased prey for survival. In that sense, Ali’s participation in the event is commendable, but the responsibility for her unpreparedness falls squarely on those who sent her to compete.

Athletes, whether they are from Somalia or any other nation, deserve to be adequately trained and prepared for the intense competition they will face on an international stage. Participating in such events demands not only physical prowess but also mental resilience. It is a disservice to the athlete and the nation they represent to send them into competition without the necessary preparation and support.

Imagine being an athlete representing your country, only to find yourself unprepared and outmatched by international competitors. It’s a situation that would be embarrassing and demoralizing for anyone. In the context of the United States, a nation with a rich sporting tradition, the embarrassment would be magnified.


One aspect that has raised concerns is the alleged association of Nasro Abukar Ali as the niece of the Somali Athletic Federation’s chairwoman, Khadijo Aden Dahir. This has led to claims of nepotism within the Somali government and has further fueled the controversy surrounding Ali’s participation in the event.

In conclusion, the case of Nasro Abukar Ali at the FISU Summer World University Games in China sheds light on the importance of proper athlete preparation and selection processes for international competitions. It serves as a cautionary tale, reminding us of the need for transparency, fairness, and accountability in sports governance. While Ali’s participation displayed courage, it also exposed the shortcomings of those responsible for her readiness. This incident should serve as a catalyst for positive change within the Somali Athletics Federation and a lesson for all nations to ensure that their athletes are given the support and training they deserve when representing their country on the global stage.


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