The 31st Olympics are just around the corner, with the Games all set to kick off this weekend. The Indian contingent this year is the largest ever, which by itself is a cause for cheer. But there are some other events relating to women athletes that are also creating a buzz around the games. Here are three of them:
When the Indian women’s hockey team returned to the Olympic field after 36 years:
Fans across the country will be cheering for women hockey players who managed to qualify for the sporting event after a long gap of 36 years by achieving a top-five finish at the 2014–15 Women’s FIH Hockey World League Semi-finals. The last time we saw the team compete in this Sporting event was in the Moscow 1980 Olympics where they came fourth. Under coach coach Neil Hawgood, and led by a new captain Sushila Chanu, the squad is hoping to make this outing at the world stage count. And with them winning the warm up practice match against Spain yesterday, they will definitely be in a positive frame of mind.
When women from Saudi Arabia were given a go-ahead to participate:
Last month, the Saudi Olympic committee introduced the names of four female athletes who will compete as part of the conservative Gulf kingdom’s team at the Rio Games. While as a norm women in Saudi Arabia are restricted from playing sports, a special mention about sportswoman Sarah al-Attar is necessary. She has already raced in the 800 metres at the 2012 London Games, but this year she will be participating in the marathon. The 23-year-old athlete will run 42 kilometer (26 mile) marathon race in Rio alongside three other Saudi women – fencer Lubna Al-Omair, 100m runner Cariman Abu Al-Jadail and judoka Wujud Fahmi. A great step forward from the conservative state.
When a 13 years old became the youngest competitor at Rio:
At 13 years and 255 days, a Nepalese swimmer, Gaurika Singh become the youngest to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Based out of London, this young athlete will compete in the 100m backstroke heats which will be held on Sunday. No mean feat this, for someone who is barely in their teens!
Can you think of any other such events prior to the Olympics that stood out in your minds? Do share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Read more from our Rio series here