Saudi Arabia hosts first-ever race for women
Saudi Arabia hosted its first-ever race for women on Saturday as the Middle Eastern country slowly expands the rights of its female citizens.
More than 1,500 women took part in the nearly 2 mile marathon, the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya network reported.
Women from “professional” and “amateur” backgrounds, as well as those “old and young,” participated in the event, titled “al-Ahsa Runs,” which took place in the eastern province of Al-Ahsa, according to Anadolu Agency.
Mizna al-Nassar, 28, won the event in 15 minutes, and announced her plans to hopefully compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on behalf of Saudi Arabia.
A graphic designer, al-Nassar told Al Arabiya she has a “regimented food program and training schedule supervised by professional trainer and I have participated in the Islamic Sport Games in Baku Azerbaijan in 2017 and in the Ladies Sport Games in Sharjah in 2018.”
According to the news outlet, Sharia law was enforced as many competitors wore hijabs and abayas during the run.
The event came months after a decades-old law forbidding women to drive cars was revoked in the country.
It was also recently reported that Saudi Arabia is opening soldier rank positions to men for the first time ever in regions including Riyadh, Mecca and Medina.