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Saudi women to get Olympics try
Published in Bikya Masr on 18 - 11 - 2011

Saudi Arabian women are barred from driving and face penalties for attempting to do so, including public lashings. This hasn't stopped the country from reportedly giving the green light to women to participate in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.
However, the country only plans to send a female equestrian team to the games. The move is largely due to warnings from the International Olympic Committee's Women and Sports Commission, which said the conservative Gulf kingdom could be barred from the Olympics altogether if women are not allowed to participate.
Saudi Arabia has never sent a woman to the Olympics. The kingdom forbids women from participating in sports in the country.
The IOC Women's Chair Anita DeFrantz warned the country in 2010 that if female athletes are not allowed to participate, the country could face being banned from the global competition.
This is not new for the conservative Gulf region. Qatar has only recently agreed to allow women to join its 2012 Olympic team, a likely move ahead of the small country receiving the World Cup bid for 2022.
Dalma Rushdi Malhas, an 18-year-old Saudi woman, is the likely choice for the competition. She won a bronze medal at the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympics and has the ability to compete at the highest level, the country's al-Shorouq newspaper reported.
The OIC required each country to field at least one woman in the Youth Olympics and Saudi Arabia included Malhas in its delegation.
BM


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