Lausanne (SUI), 25 June 2012 – Dalma Rushdi Malhas, the Saudi Arabian rider who won individual bronze at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010, will not be competing at London 2012, the FEI confirmed today.
The 20-year-old had been aiming to achieve the minimum eligibility standard required for the Olympic Games by the 17 June deadline, but her horse was sidelined by injury and missed a month’s work during the qualifying period.
The 12-year-old Swedish warmblood mare Caramell KS, which was bought from Swedish rider Svante Johansson at the end of 2011, was found to be suffering from a back problem, putting an end to Dalma’s hopes of qualifying for London 2012.
“There have been some reports in the media, but regretfully the Saudi Arabian rider Dalma Rushdi Malhas has not attained the minimum eligibility standards and consequently will not be competing at the London 2012 Olympic Games,” FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos said. “However, we understand that the IOC has a number of other female athletes from Saudi Arabia in other sports who are currently under consideration.
Lausanne (SUI), 26 February 2012 – Dalma Rushdi Malhas, who made history by becoming the first Saudi female athlete to compete on the Olympic stage when she rode at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010, was amongst a high-profile group of speakers who addressed the recent IOC Women and Sport conference in Los Angeles (USA). The 20-year-old, who won individual bronze in Singapore, spoke of her hope of gender equality in all sports.
“I cannot yet compare myself to the riders of the Saudi First Team, but I am determined to give my best to reach their level one day, and prove that all women athletes, all over the world, should be given equal opportunities,” she said.
Twenty-four hours earlier, Malhas had received the loudest applause of the day after being invited onto the stage by IOC Executive Board member Nawal El Moutawakel of Morocco. Malhas, and then her mother, were brought on stage to demonstrate that female athletes from the Middle East can make their mark on the international sporting arena.