Somalian Olympic runner 'drowns trying to reach Europe'

  • A Somalian Olympic runner has reportedly drowned while trying to reach Europe on a migrant boat.

    Samia Yusuf Omar attempted to cross from Libya to Italy in April when the boat she was traveling in sank, according to Italian media.

    The head of Somalia's National Olympic Committee confirmed that she had died but did give any further details.

    Samia competed in the 200-meter event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

    Italian media reports suggest she may have been looking to find a coach in Europe who could help her take part in the London Olympics.

    According to newspaper Corriere Della Sera, Samia's story only came to light after former Somalian Olympic athlete Abdi Bile mentioned it at a talk.

    He spoke of Mo Farah, the Somalian runner who moved to the United Kingdom at the age of 12 and won gold at this year's Olympics.

    "We are happy for Mo, he is our pride," he said. "But we will not forget Samia."