Somali athletes depart for London


MOGADISHU, Somalia July 17- The two athletes that will represent Somalia in the Olympics left Mogadishu for London to attend the Games which will open later this month.
At a rapturous send-off ceremony, Zamzam Mohamed Farah and Mohamed Hassan Mohamed Tayow were accompanied by their coach and members of their family at the airport in Mogadishu.

Top Somali government officials including the major of Mogadishu, Mohamed Nur Tarsan, were at the ceremony to see off the athletes.

The Somali national anthem was played at the celebration in honor for the athletes who were visibly emotional at the support given to them by the Somali people and leaders.

Farah, who will participate in the women’s 400m race at the London Olympics, said she felt huge responsibility for her people and country and promised to do her best at the games in London.

“I am veryhappy because since yesterday we have been we have met the highest government officials including the Prime Minister, the major of Mogadishu and the minister of sport as well as parliamentarians and the honorable public and the media. I say to the Somali people: thank you very much for your support to us and we will shoulder our responsibly,” said Zamzam with tears in her eyes.

Tayow who will compete in the men’s 1,500m also told reporters at the airport that he and his compatriot will bring victory to the country. “I am very very happy to be representing my people, country and flag at the London 2012 Games. This year people are united in supporting us and Somalis everywhere expect of us victory.

The government, the sports officials, the people of Somalia and the media have given us total support,” Tayow said.