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London Olympics: Headscarf issue resolved for Saudi judo athlete

July 31, 2012|By Lisa Dillman
  • Saudi Arabia's Wojdan Shahrkhani will be allowed to compete in the 78-kilogram judo event after a compromise was reached about her head covering.
Saudi Arabia's Wojdan Shahrkhani will be allowed to compete in the… (Matt Dunham / Associated…)

LONDON -- The bottom line: Wodjan Shahrkhani will be able to compete in the 78-kilogram judo event because of a compromise crafted between International Judo Federation officials and the Saudi Olympic Committee.

She is one of two Saudi female athletes selected for ground-breaking inclusion in the 2012 Games.

The issue in question was her required headscarf (hijab). The federation had been concerned about safety issues on the mat during the match.

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How the groups reached an accord was unclear, as no specifics about the compromise were offered.

On Tuesday, International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said in a briefing that an agreement had been reached about "a suitable head covering."

Her father had been quoted in various reports as saying his 16-year-old daughter would not compete at the Olympics unless she was able to wear the hijab.

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