» 07/31/2012 G. BRITAIN - S. ARABIA London 2012: Saudi judoka can compete (with veil) The athlete will participate wearing special headgear. Originally, the International Judo Federation (IJF) had admitted Wojdan AliSeraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani, but only bare-headed "for security reasons." The girl's father has threatened to withdraw her from competition. She will compete on 3 August in the +78 kg category.
/ Agencies) - The Saudi judoka can compete in the Olympic Games, wearing a "special"
It was announced by the Saudi National Olympic Committee, the International
Olympic Committee and the International Judo Federation (IJF), thus resolving
the dispute which was in danger of excluding the athlete from the competition. Wojdan
AliSeraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani, 16, will take to the mat on the 3rd of August in the +78 kg category. The
authorities have not yet revealed the design of the judo hijab.
recent days, some IJF statements threatened to "prevent" the girl from
participating in the Olympics. IJF
President, Marius Vizer, had maintained that the athlete would have to compete
without the hijab, for safety reasons. At
that point, the judoka's father threatened to withdraw his daughter from the
competition, if the authorities had forbidden her from wearing the Islamic
to the IJF official rules, athletes can not wear any type of headgear during
the fights: during the wrestle, the garment may move and lead to strangulation
or other problems.
AliSeraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani is one of two Saudi women athletes representing
the country at the London 2012 Games. The other
is Sarah Attar, who will compete in the athletics 800m. Saudi
Arabia removed its ban on women in the Olympic team on June 26 last, to avoid
exclusion from competition on grounds of sex discrimination. The
Olympic Charter provides for the waiver of any country that practices any form
of discrimination. In
the wake of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei also sent female
athletes to the Games.