RIYADH — The father of the first-ever Saudi female to compete at the Olympic Games has vowed to sue those who insulted his daughter for challenging traditions that prevented women from participating in sports.
The father of Wojdan Shahrkani, who stole the limelight at the London Olympics despite lasting only 82 seconds on the mat before being defeated, told Al-Sharq daily that he wrote to the interior minister with copies of insults made on the Twitter microblogging website.
“I have sent an urgent letter to the Minister of Interior Prince Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz with copies of all attacks made on Twitter,” said Ali Seraj Shahrkani. A lawyer has been hired to sue those who attacked his daughter, he said.
The judo international referee said he had no problem with those who criticized the performance of his teenage daughter, who despite being swiftly beaten by Puerto Rico’s Melissa Mojica left the stadium to a standing ovation.
The 16-year-old judoka took part wearing a modified headscarf, but that still did not impress some.
But most tweeters hailed Shahrkani’s courage. Others started a hashtag deploring racist comments on Twitter targeted at Shahrkani over her Asian origins.
“It was an honor for my daughter to participate in Olympics and to have represented Saudi Arabia,” said Shahrkani’s father, adding that she will start training for the 2016 Olympics.
Apart from Shahrkani, Sarah Attar is also representing Saudi Arabia in 800m. — AFP