3 Nations to Send First Female Athletes to Olympics

Saudi Arabia, Brunei, Qatar expected to have women compete in London
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2012 6:24 PM CDT
3 Nations to Send First Female Athletes to Olympics
Saudi Arabia's Dalma Rushdi Malhas rides during an equestrian competition at the Youth Olympic Games 2010 in Singapore.   (Getty Images)

This summer's Olympics in London may be the first in which every nation will send at least one female athlete, reports the New York Times. That's because three Muslim holdouts—Saudi Arabia, Brunei, and Qatar—are expected to grudgingly make the concession. Don't expect full teams: Saudi Arabia may send a lone equestrian, for example, and Brunei is expected to send a relatively inexperienced runner, notes the International Herald Tribune.

“While tokenistic participation is welcome, it wouldn’t change our position that the (International Olympic Committee) should effect more systemic change,” says a Human Rights Watch researcher. (More Saudi Arabia stories.)

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