Somalia’s only two athletes for the Rio games are intensifying training in Mogadishu.
Maryan Nuh Muse and Mohamed Daud Mohamed will be participating in the track and field races and say they hope to create a personal record even if they do not win.
The male Somali athlete, Kenyan born Mohamed Daud Mohamed is a former football player who now excels in the 5.000 metres.
Mayan Nuh Muse will be competing in the 400 metres race and counts on her experience in international youth competitions.
“My first trip abroad for competition was Botwana, in 2013. Then the Youth Olympic Games in China in 2014 and Congo-Brazzaville the same year. And more recently Tanzania in 2015. And now I am very happy to run in the 2016 Olympics” she said.
While in Rio, the Somali athletes will meet other competitors with better training facilities.
They however say this has not reduced their confidence in any way. Somalia had many top athletes in the 80’s who either sought greener pastures or went on exile.
“We have been training for seven months now and I hope that our efforts will bear fruits,” Mohamed Addow, who coaches the two athletes said.
Somali athletes sometimes get injured during training due to poor training facilities.
After a long war Somalia is struggling to establish peace despite repeated attacks from al-shabaab. The government is aided in this mission by African Union troops.