The margins for error at the elite levels of track and field are very, very slim.
Especially in the 100, a race that often that off lasts under 10 seconds for men and under 11 seconds for women.
One small mistake could be the difference between winning gold and being off the podium.
That is, unless you’re Somalian runner Nasra Abukar.
Abukar raced in the 100 this week at the World University Games in China.
No one thought much of Abukar’s entry into the race. Until, of course, the gun sounded to start the event. The contestants burst out of the block and down the track.
Well, all of the contestants…sans Abukar.
Abukar began to run and it was as if she had 50 pound weights tied to each of her feat. Every other runner took off down the track and she was left far, far behind.
So far behind, even, that she was out of the camera shot by the mid-way point of the race.
Her official time for the race was 21.81.
The display made a mockery of not only the event and competition, but also Somalian sport.
On Thursday, the Somalian Minister of Youth and Sports, Mohamed Barre Mohamud, apologized and stated that his department was unaware of Abukar’s inclusion.
Khadijo Aden Dahir, the chairwoman of the Somali Athletics Federation, was also suspended amid claims of nepotism, with rumors that she was somehow related to Abukar.
Though no direct links have been found between the two.
Abukar’s time is the slowest in registered history of the World University Games among athletes that actually finished the even.
She has no recorded history available of a running career and little information about her is available elsewhere.
The next slowest time for a runner to complete this year’s event was 13.64.
But hey, she’ll get there some day.