Wodjan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani, 16, will compete in the +78kg judo category after Saudi Arabia’s Olympic Committee reached an agreement with the International Judo Federation (IJF) following talks on Tuesday.Marius Vizer, the Austrian president of the IJF, had said last week that Shahrkhani would not be allowed to wear a headscarf to compete for safety reasons.But Miss Shahrkhani’s father told Saudi Arabia’s al-Watan newspaper that his daughter “will not compete in the Judo Games on August 3 if the committee insists that she removes her hijab.”The IJF and Saudi Arabia’s Olympic committee came to an agreement after conceding that Asian judo federations which oversee Muslim countries such as Malaysia make an allowance for judokas who wear the headscarf demanded by some followers of Islam.
Mark Adams, communications director of the International Olympic Committee, said: “I can confirm that the federation and the National Olympic Committee met yesterday. They have a solution that works for all parties involved.”Asked what the solution involved, he said: “As you know, the judo federation in Asia does allow for some headscarves. It is a version that is safety compliant but also allows for cultural sensitivity.”In Asian judo it’s a common practice, so they asked for something that would be compliant with that, and the judo federation has reached a compromise they’re both happy with.”He went on: “We helped bring them together. “Our aim is that we want to have women from all National Olympic Committees competing in the Games and clearly one of those ones that will be new here will be Saudi.”We want to make sure we can give the maximum chance for women from every National Olympic Committee to take part in the Games.”Saudi 800m runner Sarah Attar are the only two female competitors for the kingdom, which has never previously sent any female athletes to the Games.Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/news/9441707/London-2012-Olympics-Saudi-Arabian-judo-athlete-will-compete-in-hijab.html
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