London 2012: Sarah Attar becomes Saudi Arabia's first female track Olympian
Wednesday 08 August 2012
Sarah Attar became the first female track and field athlete to represent Saudi Arabia at an Olympics when she competed in the 800 metres heats today.
The 19-year-old, who wore a white head cover, a long sleeved green top and black leggings and sported luminous green running spikes, received a generous ovation from a capacity-crowd at the Olympic stadium as she trailed in last of the eight runners.
"It's an incredible experience," Attar, who has dual United States citizenship and is a student at Pepperdine University in Los Angeles, told reporters.
Attar, who clocked two minutes 44.95 seconds - over 43 seconds behind heat winner Janeth Jepkosgei Busienei of Kenya, is the second Saudi woman to compete at the Games following judoka Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had extended a special invitation to Shaherkani and Attar after it pressed Saudi Arabia to end its ban on female participation.
Some conservative Saudis had criticised their countrywomen's participation in London after Saudi Arabia broke with its practice of sending male-only teams to the world's biggest sports event.
Floyd Mayweather next opponent: Mayweather more likely to pick a former foe than a fresh contender like Amir Khan in Las Vegas lottery
Manchester United transfer news: Adnan Januzaj to be offered in deal for Memphis Depay
Jose Mourinho: 'The dogs bark and the caravan goes by,' Chelsea manager gives cryptic assessment after Blues win title
Arsenal transfer news: Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini set for showdown summer talks over future
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger reveals: 'We are not close to signing anybody. We need to lose some players'
- 1 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 5 YouTube social experiment shows just how easy it is to kidnap a child
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils