Saudi+to+allow+women+athletes+for+Olympics
Monday, 25 June 2012 - 8:13
Saudi to allow women athletes for Olympics
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Saudi Arabia is to allow its women athletes to compete in the Olympics for the first time.

Officials say the country's Olympic Committee will "oversee participation of women athletes who can qualify".

The decision will end recent speculation as to whether the entire Saudi team could have been disqualified on grounds of gender discrimination.

Saudi officials say that with the Games now just a few weeks away, the only female competitor at Olympic standard is showjumper Dalma Rushdi Malhas.

But they added that there may be scope for others to compete and that if successful they would be dressed "to preserve their dignity".

In practice this is likely to mean modest, loose-fitting garments and "a sports hijab", a scarf covering the hair but not the face.

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