The world’s largest sporting event is almost here—and it’s not short of Arab representation, of course. But Yasmine Al Dabbagh is making history as one of few (and fast) women to represent Saudi Arabia at the Tokyo Olympics set to be held later this month.
The news was announced after Al Dabbagh broke the national female 100-meter dash record at the athletics national trial last month. With a record time of 13.24, the runner officially became the fastest woman in the Kingdom.
“Yasmeen Al-Dabbagh is literally the fastest woman in Saudi Arabia. Can’t wait to see her take on the 100-meter race in Tokyo,” celebrated Princess Reema Bint Bandar Bin Sultan, Saudi Ambassador to the United States, to make the announcement.
“I’m running for myself, my country, and for all young Saudis. So many people have helped me throughout my career to compete, become a better sprinter and better person,” said Al Dabbagh on her accomplishment. “Regardless of the result, Saudi Arabia is a country on the move and I’m going to love every second of the Olympics,” she added.
The history-making runner will join athlete Mazen Al-Yassin in Tokyo, who will be taking part in the 400m race. 10 Saudi athletes secured spots at the games, the roster includes weightlifter Mahmoud AL Ahmeed, rower Husein Alireza, karate athlete Tarek Hamdi, Suleiman Hamad in judo, swimmer Youssef Bouarish, shooter Saeed Al Mutairi, and table tennis player Ali AL Khadrawi.