Saudi Arabia allows women to compete in London Olympics

  • Saudi Arabia is to allow its female athletes to take part in the Olympics for the first time.

    The decision ends recent speculation as to whether the entire Saudi team could have been disqualified due to gender discrimination.

    Officials say an agreement was made in mid-June between King Abdullah, who has long pushed for for women to play a more active role in Saudi society, the crown prince, the foreign minister, the leading religious cleric, the grand mufti and others, to overturn the ban.

    The only female competitor at Olympic standard is showjumper Dalma Rushdi Malhas, according to the country’s National Olympic Committee.