LONDON, August 3: Judoka Wojdan Shaherkani became the first woman from Saudi Arabia to compete at the Olympics while Teddy Riner and home favourite Karina Bryant lit up the ExCel Arena on Friday.
Shaherkani, 16, walked onto the judo mat and bowed to her opponent Melissa Mojica of Puerto Rico before grippng up to make history.
But her debut lasted just 82 seconds before she was thrown for the maximum ippon.
“I was disturbed and afraid at the beginning, it was my first time in a big competition and there was a lot of pressure because of the hijab issue.”
Shaherkani’s headwear almost cost her this opportunity after International Judo Federation president Marius Vizer said she wouldn’t be allowed to compete in a hijab. AFP