Somali athlete drowned off Libya coast before Olympics
MOGADISHU, Somalia - The Associated Press
This Aug 19, 2008, file photo shows Somalia’s Samia Yusuf Omar reacting after a heat of the women’s 200m race in the National Stadium at the Beijing Olympics. AP photoAn official says one of Somalia’s best athletes drowned after the small boat she was riding in capsized off the Libyan coast while crossing to Italy for training a month ago.
The deputy chairman for Somalia’s athletics federation said on Aug. 21 that Samia Yusuf Omar was traveling from Ethiopia, where she lived, to Libya and then Italy to train for the London Olympics.
Qadijo Aden Dahir, the deputy chairman, said: “It’s a sad death...She was our favorite for London.”
Samsam Mohamed ran instead of Omar, who ran in the 200meters race at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Omar’s death is another setback for sports in Somalia and it is unclear why it is only being discussed weeks late. In April a suicide attack killed the president of Somalia’s Olympic committee and the head of its football federation.