Somali Olympic athlete drowns before London Games

A Somali Olympic athlete drowned in a tragic accident whilst on her way to Europe to prepare for the London Games.

A report by the Herald Sun says Somali athlete Samia Yusuf Omar was en route to London when the boat she was on capsized off the Libyan coast.

Yusuf Omar was travelling from Ethiopia to Libya then onto Italy said the deputy chairman for Somalia's athletics federation, Qadijo Aden Dahir.

Aden Dahir had high praise for Yusuf Omar and tipped her to perform well in London.

"It's a sad death ... she was our favourite for the London Olympics," Aden Dahir said.

Yusuf Omar had previously run at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 but could only manage a last-place finish in her qualifying heat for the 200m sprint.

Somalia was first represented by a three-man team at the Munich 1972 Olympic Games. They are yet to win an Olympic medal.