Saudi Woman Makes Olympic Track Debut

Becomes country's second-ever female Olympian

Ryan O'Hanlon

Five days after the first-ever Saudi Arabian woman competed in the Olympics, the total has doubled. Sarah Attar, a 19-year-old Saudi middle-distance runner, ran in a preliminary 800m race Wednesday morning. She finished in last place—more than 30 seconds behind the next best runner—with a time of 2 minutes, 44.95 seconds. But that’s not really the point here. “For women in Saudi Arabia, I think this can really spark something to get more involved in sports, to become more athletic,” said Attar, who ran in a long-sleeved jacket, pants, and a hood. “Maybe in the next Olympics, we can have a very strong team to come.” Born in California, Attar has an American mother and a Saudi father. She runs track at Pepperdine University.