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1 CuriousLurker  Fri, Aug 3, 2012 8:36:10am

Gah, she lost. Sounds like she wasn't really ready. Good on her for trying though. Hope she doesn't catch too much crap when she goes home.

LONDON -- The first Saudi Arabian woman to compete in the Olympics was easily defeated Friday by a Puerto Rican opponent in a judo bout that lasted only 82 seconds.

Wearing a tight-fitting black cap after judo officials would not allow her to don a headscarf, Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani lost the one-sided match to Melissa Mojica, a powerful 187-pounder (85-kilos) who is the 24th-ranked judo fighter in the world.

Despite earning only a blue belt in the Japanese martial art, Shahrkhani wore a black belt to compete. She has been training for two years, mostly with her father, who is an international judo referee.

The 18-year-old Shahrkhani was mainly on the defensive, swatting away Mojica's attempts to get a grip. Shahrkhani seemed tentative and cautious on her feet and made little attempt to throw Mojica off balance.

Mojica eventually grabbed Shahrkhani on her collar and flipped her onto her back for a match-ending throw. [...]

"She will definitely face difficulties (back home)," Hashem Abdo Hashem, editor-in-chief of Saudi's Arabic daily newspaper Okaz, told The Associated Press. "The society here will look at her negatively." [...]

"I am proud of her because she is confronting an entire system and society," said Aziza al-Yousif, a computer science lecturer at King Saud University. "She wants to play judo. Who decides who can judge her and what is in line with Islamic law or not? Let God judge her. We are humans. It's not our place to judge one another."

More at ESPN...

You go, girl.

2 CuriousLurker  Fri, Aug 3, 2012 8:40:00am

re: #1 CuriousLurker

Competing in your first Olympic event smack in the middle of Ramadan probably doesn't help either.

3 Political Atheist  Fri, Aug 3, 2012 9:48:47am

re: #2 CuriousLurker
I have huge respect for her ground breaking effort. During a fast?! Epic effort. Two years of Judo training to go to the Olympics is wildly inadequate to be in contention for medals. I have got to find the tape online~!
Judo takes a long time to absorb compared to boxing or kickboxing IMHO.
She is young enough to keep at it and have a shot next time.

4 CuriousLurker  Fri, Aug 3, 2012 10:00:36am

re: #3 Daniel Ballard

Yeah, whenever you hear stories about Olympic athletes it's usually something like, "Oh, I started when I was 6 years old." Like you said, maybe next time. If not her, maybe she'll inspire others. *fingers crossed*

5 Political Atheist  Fri, Aug 3, 2012 10:12:17am

re: #4 CuriousLurker

If she gets enough international encouragement, she can better withstand the critics at home. Heck I'd love to see some sponsor support from an equipment company or maybe the Judo organization to foster growth of the sport.

6 researchok  Fri, Aug 3, 2012 10:17:06am

re: #4 CuriousLurker

She won the gold just for showing up.

Let's hope there are no repercussions down the road.

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