Former refugee becomes Danish running champ
Abdi Hakin Ulad was the pride of the hometown crowd as he bested all other Danish competitors at Sunday’s Copenhagen Half Marathon.
In 2001, he came to Denmark as a refugee from Somalia. On Sunday, Abdi Hakin Ulad crossed the finish line at the Copenhagen Half Marathon as the fastest Dane among the nearly 24,000 competitors.
With a time of 1:02:48, Abdi Hakin Ulad outran all other Danish competitors through the streets of the Danish capital. He not only took the win among his countrymen on Sunday, he also claimed the fifth fastest half marathon ever ran by a Dane, according to public broadcaster DR.
Now a Danish citizen living in the Copenhagen suburb of Hvidore, Ulad came to Denmark as a refugee 14 years ago. His finish as the fastest Dane came at a time when refugees are dominating the spotlight in Denmark. Some 125,000 Facebook users saw the video of him crossing the finish line and many used the occasion to weigh in on the current refugee debate.
For Ulad’s part, he told public broadcaster DR that he was just happy to have had the support of his fellow Danes along the 21.097 kilometre route.