Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Saudi Arabia holds first marathon for women



Saudi Arabia holds first marathon for women

Saudi Arabia holds first marathon for women

Saudi Arabia hosted its first marathon for women at the weekend, local media said, as the conservative kingdom seeks to boost female sports in a far-reaching modernisation drive.

Hundreds of women runners, many of them dressed in traditional Islamic attire, raced in eastern Al-Ahsa region on Saturday.

“The aim of the marathon is to promote running and introduce the concept of sports for all, for a healthier way of life,” Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya News quoted the marathon’s supervisor, Malek al-Mousa, as saying.

The event came after Riyadh hosted its first international half-marathon in late February, which prompted complaints from some Saudis on social media about the notable absence of women.

Sports authorities are set to organise another marathon for women in the holy city of Mecca on April 6, pro-government Okaz newspaper reported.

Long known for its ultra-conservative mores, the kingdom has embarked on a wide-ranging programme of social reforms that includes allowing women to drive from June.

The kingdom’s General Entertainment Authority last month said it will stage more than 5,000 festivals and concerts in 2018, double the number of last year, and pump $64 billion in the sector over the coming decade.

But some Saudis have complained on social media of what they called wasteful spending as the kingdom reels from slumping oil revenues, high inflation and unemployment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration