Saudi runner Attar makes history at London 2012

Saudi runner Attar makes history at London 2012

Sarah Attar today became the first Saudi Arabian woman to compete in athletics at the Olympic Games - and she hopes her participation at London 2012 will “make a difference”.

Sarah Attar of Saudi Arabia was cheered on by thousands of people in the Olympic Stadium when she took her place at the start of the 800 metres.

Wojdan Shaherkani, the other female member of the Saudi team, competed in the Judo last week with Attar having to wait until today to make her appearance.

And even though she came last in the final heat of the 800m, the 19-year-old is aware that was the least important aspect of a historic day.

“It is the hugest honour to be here to represent the women of Saudi Arabia,” she said.

“It is a historic moment. I hope it will make a difference. It is a huge step forward.

“It is a really incredible experience.”

Attar finished in a time of 2:44.95.

She will now return to Pepperdine University in California.