Tripoli, 21 August:
A Somali Olympic athlete drowned during an attempted crossing from Libya to Italy last month, according to an official . . .[restrict]at the Somali Athletics Federation.
Samia Yusuf Omar was travelling from her home in Ethiopia to a training camp in Italy in preparation for the London Olympics, Qadijo Aden Dahir told the Associated Press (AP) news agency today.
Human Rights Watch released a statement earlier this month airing concerns that hundreds of people die every year attempting to cross to Europe in unseaworthy vessels. The known death toll this year is around 170.
“It’s a sad death,” Dahir told AP, “she was our favourite for the London Olympics.”
Omar competed in the 200 meters at eh Beijing Olympics in 200, but after her death last month Samsam Mohamed ran in her place at the London games.
It remains unclear why news of this tragedy has only emerged now, weeks after the event. [/restrict]