Sarah Attar makes Olympic track history for Saudi women

Sarah Attar became the first Saudi woman to compete in Olympic track and field, wearing a headscarf and finishing last in her 800-meter heat Wednesday. (Aug. 8)

LONDON -- Sarah Attar became the first Saudi woman to compete in Olympic track and field, wearing a headscarf and finishing last in her 800-meter heat Wednesday.

Attar smiled broadly and waved at the crowd as her name was announced. Three minutes later, wearing a white headscarf, green longsleeve shirt and black leggings despite the 19-degree Celsius (66-degree Fahrenheit) temperature, she drew a huge roar of approval from the crowd of about 80,000 as she strode down the home stretch.

Her time of 2 minutes, 44.95 seconds was well behind Janeth Jepkosgei's heat-winning 2:01.04, but that didn't matter. She left her mark on the London Games.

A student at Pepperdine with dual Saudi and U.S. citizenship, she is one of the first two Saudi women ever selected for the Olympics.

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