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‘I ran with a sprained leg,’ viral Somali sprinter says

After being called the worst athlete in history to have participated in international games, Somalia runner Nasra Abukar Ali has responded.

In a statement shared online, Abukar wondered why she was being criticised yet she represented her country well despite being injured.

“Somalis do not deserve to be represented in a running competition, I ran with a sprained leg, but I am criticized,” she said.

In a video of the event, which has gone viral on social media, the Somali athlete is soon left out of shot and eventually completes the race with a jovial skip.

The race was at a university games competition in the city of Chengdu in China. Nasra Abubakar Ali took close to 22 seconds to complete the race – almost twice as long as the winner.

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It was claimed the time was the ‘slowest-ever’ in international competition.

A clip of the race was posted online, raising questions about why Somalia would send such an unprepared athlete to a major event.

It was claimed that Abukar is actually the niece of Somali athletics vice-president Khadija Adan Dahir and that her selection for the event in China was purely nepotistic.

The video shows other female athletes gearing up for the race and taking the stance before the start while Ms Ali struggling to even do that.

She doesn’t appear to be fit and as soon as the buzzer rings, the crouching athletes race ahead, leaving her far behind.

Other athletes quickly finish the race, but Abukar takes her own sweet time to reach the end, jumping on the track in between.

Elham Garaad, who posted the viral video 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.”

Somalia’s Sports Minister Mohamed Barre Mohamud was forced to apologise and described the incident as embarrassing.

“What happened today was not representation of the Somali people… we apologise to the Somali people,” he said.

“The fact that she reportedly had no previous experience of competing has prompted some Somalis to wonder why she was ever selected. We are trying to find out.”

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Twitter users have roasted the athlete for her performance.

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