First Saudi Female Olympian Defeated by Puerto Rican in Judo

It was a fight to remember...even if it only lasted 82 seconds.

The first Saudi woman to compete at the Olympics lost her judo bout quickly and easily Friday, but it was still being hailed as a victory for women in the Gulf kingdom.

Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani was one of only two women competing for Saudi Arabia at the London Games — the first time the Gulf state has sent female athletes at all.

And she was able to compete in judo only after a compromise between Olympic organizers, the international judo federation and Saudi officials that cleared the way for her to wear a modified hijab.

On the mat, the Saudi looked tentative and cautious on her feet, unwilling to grab Mojica's uniform and making little attempt to throw her off balance. The two heavyweights circled each other for about a minute before Mojica, the 24th-ranked judo fighter in the world in her weight class, grabbed Shahrkhani with a secure grip on her collar and flipped her onto her back, ending the match in little over a minute.

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As she rose to her feet, Shahrkhani gently reached for her head to make sure the hijab was still in place. It was, and the two women bowed to each other and left to a loud ovation.

Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in history, is set to sprint to the finish in the last individual race of his career.

Phelps will swim the 100-meter butterfly on Friday, with a chance to add a second threepeat to his resume. He won his first individual gold in London in the 200 individual medley on Thursday, making him the first man to win the same individual event at three consecutive Olympics.

"He didn't have it on his goal sheet, but for me that was important," Phelps' coach Bob Bowman said. "I always wanted him to do three just because that was cool."

Phelps can do it again in the 100 fly, going into the final with the fastest time of 50.86 seconds. He has no special strategy for the two-lap sprint.

"It's the 100," he explained. "You just kind of go for it and hopefully hang on."

On the opening morning of Olympic track, British heptathlete Jessica Ennis dazzled. With nearly every seat filled for the first session, Ennis wowed the home crowd by finishing the 100-meter hurdles in 12.54 seconds, the fastest time ever in that heptathlon event.

The time matched Dawn Harper's gold-winning time in the 100-meter hurdle final at the Beijing Games — and would've been good enough to take that title at the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympics.

"I had to get a bit closer to the screen to double check the time," said Britain's world-champion 400-meter runner, Dai Greene. "Those sort of things are amazing for team morale."

Based on reporting by the Associated Press. 

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