Sports, Health & Lifestyle
Written By: MICHAEL CASEY, AP Sports Writer
Article Date: Sep 6, 2011 - 10:48:23 PM
In this photo taken Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011, Yemen's Fatima Sulaiman Dahman, left, and Nabil al-Garb pose for a photograph at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea. For every athletic powerhouse like Jamaica, United States or Kenya at the worlds, there is Indonesia, Nicaragua or Yemen at the world championships. They are among scores of impoverished countries permitted to send a male and female athlete who otherwise wouldn't qualify and often get one chance to perform on the big stage. Photo: Lee Jin-man / AP
DAEGU, South Korea (AP) — Anti-government protests forced Yemeni hurdler Fatima Sulaiman Dahman to train indoors for six months before the world championships. And even then, she often practices alone because there are few other female athletes in the Muslim country.
Palestinian runner Bahaa al-Farra had to borrow a pair of spikes from his Omani roommate before his 400-meter race and lamented how he must train on a dirt track.
These are the athletes who often finish last in their qualifying heats and are overshadowed by stars such as Usain Bolt and Yelena Isinbayeva. They didn't come to Daegu to win gold, or even qualify for the semifinals. For most of the them, it's all about raising the profile of their countries, making friends and setting a personal best.
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