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Kicker: Suspicious sprint

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WORLD Radio - Kicker: Suspicious sprint

A Somali sprinter sets the record for slowest time at a race in China, prompting questions of eligibility


Wikimedia Commons/Photo by Filip Bossuyt

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Well, here’s a race for the record books.

A sprinter from Somalia set a new record at the World University Games in China earlier this month.

But probably not the kind of record she hoped for.

During a 100-meter qualifying race, 20-year-old Nasra Abubakar Ali was left in the dust as the rest of the heat blazed down the track. Ali finished with the slowest time ever…21.81 seconds…nearly 11 seconds slower than the front-runner.

Footage of the race almost looks like a prank video…but it turns out it’s not that funny after all. The African athlete is an untrained runner and related to the chair of the Somali Athletics Federation.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Cronyism!

REICHARD: Well, she didn’t get away with it. Somalia’s Ministry of Youth and Sport apologized and suspended the chair for corruption.

For Ali’s part…she didn’t seem too bothered to come in dead last. She managed a little celebratory skip across the finish line.

It’s The World and Everything in It.


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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