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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Somali Olympic Committee names two athletes for London

The Somali Olympic Committee (SOC) and selectors have announced the two athletes that will compete for Somalia at the London Olympics on Saturday.

 Samsam Mohamed Farah and Mohamed Hassan Mohamed

According to the Committee countries that do not qualify for any events are eligible to present two athletes in the games under the Olympic Games rules.

The selection panel hosted a fierce competition between two girls in one heat and two boys in another. The selectors like most Somali athletes were convinced the two runners – Samsam Mohamed Farah and Mohamed Hassan Mohamed will give their all for Somalia and in the road to London.

The Committee said their selection was ratified by the Somali Olympic Committee last week was “unanimous”. Their coach, Ahmed Ali Abukar, said the selection was not only based on performance, the race, but also experience. He said they were the right athletes to carry the nation’s flag.

“These athletes through sheer grit, courage, mental toughness and hard work have earned the right to wave our Nation’s flag,” he said according to media in Mogadishu.

The coach will be joined by the former Somali coach of the national basketball team Mr. Omar Abdulqadir Barajab.

Somali athletes often risked their own lives to train under harsh al Shabaab rule and sending this time to London will be a symbolic victory of the al Qaeda group. It will as well motivate the battered nation and its long-suffering population.

Somali athletes still lack the resources needed to compete with their competitors. Diet, equipment and facilities remain the biggest problems even after al Shabaab were ousted last year. They eat bread, camel meat, fruit and eggs for breakfast, while lunch usually consists of spaghetti or rice with meat and camel milk. Due to lack of energy drinks, most of them use just basic mango juice.

They will face fierce competition from neighbouring heavyweights Kenya and Ethiopia as well as other leading countries in the marathon category.

Thanks to this wildcard place, Mr. Mohamed, 19, hopes to run in the 1,500m and 5,000m, who is described as a young ambitious and driven athlete.

He hopes to dedicate this rare opportunity to the former SOC chairman, Aden Yabarow Wiish, who was killed in April when a bomb exploded in the national theatre.

Source: Somalilandpress

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