Saudia Arabia has held its first marathon for women:
Manama: Mizna Al Nassar, the winner of the first women’s marathon in Saudi Arabia, said she was looking forward to representing her country at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Mizna, a 28-year-old engineer, ran the three-kilometre marathon in 15 minutes, beating challengers from the US and Taiwan who came second and third in the ‘Al Ahsa Runs’ competition in Al Ahsa, eastern Saudi Arabia, on Saturday.
According to Saudi news site Sabq, around 1,500 women took part in the race, while those who signed up were around 2,000, a much higher than expected number that forced organisers to stop accepting participants.
Mizna said that she had the full support of her family and that there were no obstacles to her participation in track competitions.
She added her family had regularly motivated her and that she was committed to being fit for all races.
Women have made impressive strides in recent months in Saudi Arabia as the society is undergoing intensive changes that saw them organise tournaments and attend sporting events in major stadiums.
The kingdom has in recent months eased restrictions on women, including the lifting of a driving ban — set to go into effect in June.
Here’s a photo from the race
I’d say like a marathon, there’s a long way to go before women can feel like equal citizens.