By Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar at the Olympics, London
The Somali National Olympic committee president Duran Ahmed Farah said on Sunday that the presence of Somalia’s 1987 1500M world champion Abdi Bile Abdi at the London 2012 Olympic Games was a great honor for the entire Somali community.
Abdi Bile Abdi was not the flag bearer due to LOCOG insisting that athlete ZamZam Mohamed Farah takes the flag.
“Somali NOC had already invited Abdi Bile to come to London to be the flag bearer because it is an honor for all of us that the country’s once world champion is with us during the games. We are very grateful to him for accepting our invitation,” the Somali NOC president Duran Ahmed Farah said in his Sunday’s press statement.
Somali NOC president Duran Ahmed Farah said Abdi Bile will be Somalia’s flag bearer during the opening ceremony. Unfortunately something changed in the last minutes of the opening day.
The statement said all participating countries were told by the LOCOG to announce their flag bearers before July 25 deadline and Somalia informed the IOC that Abdi Bile Abdi will be Somalia’s flag bearer before the deadline ends.
“It was really an unfortunate experience when the IOC’s office at the Olympic village informed our head of the delegation Omar Baarajab that Abdi Bile Abdi will not be Somalia’s flag,” President Duran Ahmed Farah emphasized in his press statement Sunday.
President Duran Ahmed Farah tried to negotiate on the matter but they insisted that it wa IOC decision that ZamZam will be the flag bearer and they were obliged to follow the instructions.
The IOC is the one administering the world event.
“I myself went to the scene and discussed the matter with the IOC’s dignitaries but it wasn’t possible for us to succeed in our plan,” the president added.
The Somali NOC presidential statement noted that veteran Abdi Bile, the once 1500M world champion was happy with the decision. The female flag bearer was reportedly an experienced leader of the Somali group.