Saudi Arabia’s First Female Olympic Taekwondo Athlete Aims for Gold

Saudi Arabia’s First Female Olympic Taekwondo Athlete Aims for Gold

27-year-old Donia Abu Talib, a taekwondo competitor from Saudi Arabia, became the first Saudi woman to ever qualify for the Olympics. Her goal is to bring home the first gold medal from Saudi Arabia at the Olympics in Paris. Due to the lack of possibilities for female athletes in her hometown of Jeddah, she honed her skills at a male club. This experience, she says, made her strong and resilient.

Since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman took office, Saudi Arabia has made strides in empowering women, particularly in the realm of sports. After getting official backing and competing to great success as a result of these reforms, Abu Talib won the Arab Taekwondo Championship in 2020 and the Asian and world championships in 2022, earning her bronze medals. The Asian Taekwondo Championships, where she took first place this year, gave her the confidence boost she needed to compete at the Olympics.

Abu Talib trained with the renowned Russian coach Kurban Bogdaev after officials took notice of her development. Her career has the support of the Saudi Taekwondo Federation, which acknowledges the importance of her accomplishments.

Saudi Arabia’s changing attitude towards women’s sports is reflected in Abu Talib’s unwavering will as she prepares for her historic Olympic debut.