Yasmeen Al-Dabbagh qualifies for women's 100-meter race at Tokyo Olympics

July 02, 2021
Saudi female runner Yasmeen Al-Dabbagh.
Saudi female runner Yasmeen Al-Dabbagh.

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Saudi female runner Yasmeen Al-Dabbagh has qualified to participate in the Olympic Games, which is scheduled to begin later this month in the Japanese capital Tokyo.

Al Dabbagh has officially been announced as the first Saudi female athlete to qualify through a ‘Universality Place’ for the biggest global sporting event, weeks after she broke the national female 100-meter dash record at the athletics national trials on June 4, 2021, with a time of 13.24.

Commenting on her qualification, Saudi Ambassador to the United States Princess Reema Bint Bandar Bin Sultan said: "Yasmeen Al-Dabbagh is literally the fastest woman in Saudi Arabia, Can’t wait to see her take on the 100-meter race in Tokyo."

Minister of Sports Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Faisal also congratulated Al-Dabbagh on her qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Elated over achieving an extraordinary feat, Al Dabbagh said: “I'm running for myself, my country, and for all young Saudis. So many people have helped me throughout my career to compete, become a better sprinter and better person.”

“I’ll have each one of them in my mind and heart while wearing the colors of the Kingdom in Tokyo.”

“Regardless of the result, Saudi Arabia is a country on the move and I'm going to love every second of the Olympics,” she added.

Yasmeen, who has been trained for the last three years by the UK running legend Linford Christie, has attended high school at the Jeddah Knowledge School in Saudi Arabia, where she found her passion in sports while participating in basketball, swimming, volleyball, gymnastics as well as track and field events.

However, when she went to study abroad at Columbia University, she decided to join Columbia Athletics to further develop her sporting career as a sprinter.

Al Dabbagh’s ambitions to represent her country began after she worked with the Saudi Arabian Athletics Federation in 2019. She aspired to join the national team and compete on a regional level.

She displayed her potential in a sport that has seen a huge demand among women in Saudi Arabia as hundreds of Saudi female athletes have formed social sporting groups in multiple disciplines of athletics.

She proved her complete readiness as she broke the female national record of the 100-meter race on June 4 this year, earning the federation’s nomination for the "Universality Place" for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

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