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A U.N aid agency canceled the Gaza marathon on Tuesday after the Palestinian territory’s militant Hamas rulers banned women from participating in the annual sporting event.UNWRA, which assists Palestinian refugees and also sponsors and organizes the event, announced that plans for the race next month have been scrapped because of the Hamas demand that women be barred."We regret this decision to cancel the marathon but we don’t want men and women running together," Abdessalam Siyyam, a Hamas government official, told Agence France-Presse."We did not tell Unrwa to cancel the marathon and we haven’t prevented it, but we laid down some conditions: We don’t want women and men mixing in the same place." (Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

A U.N aid agency canceled the Gaza marathon on Tuesday after the Palestinian territory’s militant Hamas rulers banned women from participating in the annual sporting event.

UNWRA, which assists Palestinian refugees and also sponsors and organizes the event, announced that plans for the race next month have been scrapped because of the Hamas demand that women be barred.

"We regret this decision to cancel the marathon but we don’t want men and women running together," Abdessalam Siyyam, a Hamas government official, told Agence France-Presse.

"We did not tell Unrwa to cancel the marathon and we haven’t prevented it, but we laid down some conditions: We don’t want women and men mixing in the same place." (Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

The offices of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team were set on fire early Friday in an apparent arson attack, police said, a day after four of the club’s fans were charged with anti-Muslim chanting at a recent game. Tensions have been bubbling ever since the team announced last month it would sign on two Muslim Chechen players — Zaur Sadayev and Gabriel Kadiev — in a break from the team’s unofficial tradition of not signing Arabs or Muslims. (Bernat Armangue/The Associated Press)

Not sure if this is Alice the Camel. Awaiting further confirmation on number of humps. Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy,and Justin Rose of England pose with a camel two days ahead of Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf championship. It doesn’t get much better than this. #teamcamel (Photo: Manuel Salazar/The Associated Press)

Not sure if this is Alice the Camel. Awaiting further confirmation on number of humps. Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy,and Justin Rose of England pose with a camel two days ahead of Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf championship. It doesn’t get much better than this. #teamcamel (Photo: Manuel Salazar/The Associated Press)

Messi gets the full treatment: Argentina’s Lionel Messi is escorted by security personnel as he arrives with his team in Riyadh. Argentina will play a friendly soccer match against Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. (Photo: REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed)

Messi gets the full treatment: Argentina’s Lionel Messi is escorted by security personnel as he arrives with his team in Riyadh. Argentina will play a friendly soccer match against Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. (Photo: REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed)

Palestinian youths practice their parkour skills in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. Some youths, aged between 12 and 23 years old, in Gaza are training in parkour which was developed in France. Parkour is a physical discipline of movement focused on overcoming obstacles. Training is held in cemeteries, and in former Israeli settlements.

Palestinian youths practice their parkour skills in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. Some youths, aged between 12 and 23 years old, in Gaza are training in parkour which was developed in France. Parkour is a physical discipline of movement focused on overcoming obstacles. Training is held in cemeteries, and in former Israeli settlements.

Islamist extremists have targeted two Tunisian Olympic medalists for behaviour and dress seen as un-Islamic, as debate grows over the role of religion and women in the country that unleashed the Arab Spring uprisings.
Radicals on social media networks called on the government to strip Habiba Ghribi, the first Tunisian woman to win an Olympic medal, of her nationality because her running gear was too revealing. She won the silver in the 3,000-metre steeplechase.

Islamist extremists have targeted two Tunisian Olympic medalists for behaviour and dress seen as un-Islamic, as debate grows over the role of religion and women in the country that unleashed the Arab Spring uprisings.

Radicals on social media networks called on the government to strip Habiba Ghribi, the first Tunisian woman to win an Olympic medal, of her nationality because her running gear was too revealing. She won the silver in the 3,000-metre steeplechase.

Another historic day for women in Saudi Arabia: Sarah Attar became the first female track and field athlete to represent the country at an Olympics when she competed in the 800 metres heats on Wednesday.

The 19-year-old, who wore a white head cover, a long-sleeved green top and black leggings and sported luminous green running spikes, received a generous ovation from a capacity crowd at the Olympic stadium as she trailed in last of the eight runners.

"It’s an incredible experience,” Attar, who has dual United States citizenship and is a student at Pepperdine University in Los Angeles, told reporters. “It is the hugest honour to be here to represent the women of Saudi Arabia. ”It is an historic moment. I hope it will make a difference. It is a huge step forward. It’s a really incredible experience.“

(Source: sports.nationalpost.com)

Noor Hussain Al-Malki sat in Lane 3, face in her hands, barely a dozen painful strides from where her first Olympic race began.It was a short, somewhat bittersweet and definitely unprecedented effort.The 17-year-old Al-Malki was the first Qatari woman to compete in track and field at the Olympics, after the country decided to include female athletes – four in total – in its delegation for the first time.Wearing a maroon headscarf, long sleeves and leggings, she stood out among the starters in the preliminaries in the women’s 100 metres Friday morning. She was slow out of the blocks, appeared to be very tight, and finally clutched at her right leg before stopping after about 15 metres.The official result is listed as DNF, but just being there was a significant achievement.

Noor Hussain Al-Malki sat in Lane 3, face in her hands, barely a dozen painful strides from where her first Olympic race began.

It was a short, somewhat bittersweet and definitely unprecedented effort.

The 17-year-old Al-Malki was the first Qatari woman to compete in track and field at the Olympics, after the country decided to include female athletes – four in total – in its delegation for the first time.

Wearing a maroon headscarf, long sleeves and leggings, she stood out among the starters in the preliminaries in the women’s 100 metres Friday morning. She was slow out of the blocks, appeared to be very tight, and finally clutched at her right leg before stopping after about 15 metres.

The official result is listed as DNF, but just being there was a significant achievement.

Iranian athletes will compete against Israelis at the London Olympics, according to the country’s chef de mission.
Iran has been criticized in the past because some of its athletes withdrew from events against Israelis at the 2004 Athens Games and 2008 Beijing Games.

“We will be truthful to sport,” said Bahram Afsharzadeh, who is also the secretary general of the Iranian Olympic committee said.

Afsharzadeh, who was at times speaking through a translator, also said his team had no plans to boycott events because of the nationality of opponents.

“We just follow the sportsmanship and play every country,” Afsharzadeh said.

Iranian athletes will compete against Israelis at the London Olympics, according to the country’s chef de mission.

Iran has been criticized in the past because some of its athletes withdrew from events against Israelis at the 2004 Athens Games and 2008 Beijing Games.

“We will be truthful to sport,” said Bahram Afsharzadeh, who is also the secretary general of the Iranian Olympic committee said.

Afsharzadeh, who was at times speaking through a translator, also said his team had no plans to boycott events because of the nationality of opponents.

“We just follow the sportsmanship and play every country,” Afsharzadeh said.

This is what Real Madrid’s island theme park in the UAE is expected to look like.