Saudi Arabia held its first-ever women's run over the weekend. The event, which was held in Al Ahsa on Saturday, saw over 1,500 women from all across the kingdom take part.
Even though it wasn't only limited to females, this is considered the first time women run in an official sports event.
According to Al Arabiya, the run was organized by Al-Moosa Hospital and sponsored by the Saudi General Authority for Sports in collaboration with Al-Ahsa security.
In his statement on the event, the marathon’s General Supervisor, Malik Al-Mousa, said the unique function aims to enhance running as a sport.
Just weeks before the groundbreaking run was announced, Saudi officials stated that women will be allowed to take part in the Riyadh international marathon next year. Previously, women were prohibited from running in the country's official marathons.
Al-Nassar was thrilled at her win
Coming first place in the 3-kilometer run was 28-year-old Mizna Al-Nassar, Al Arabiya reported.
In a statement she made after winning first place at the event, Al-Nassar, a graphic designer, said she made it with her family's support.
The athlete who has been into sports and running since 2014, said:
"I have a regimented food program and training schedule supervised by a professional trainer and I have participated in the Islamic Sport Games in Baku Azerbaijan in 2017 and in the Ladies Sport Games in Sharjah in 2018."
She also added that she dreams of representing Saudi Arabia in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The event was a huge success
People absolutely loved it
Many expressed their pride in it online
"Run girl run"
The event comes at a time when things are looking up for female Saudi athletes
In recent months, the kingdom held its first-ever women's basketball tournament and announced it will soon be hosting a women's football competition.
Saudi female athletes have also been making international headlines for their achievements at global scale events, including the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Four female athletes attended the international games, following in the footsteps of two bold Saudi women who participated in the London 2012 games.
Considering all the recent positive reforms, it doesn't seem impossible for Saudi women to compete and represent their country at the Olympics in the near future.
The kingdom is also making significant strides when it comes to women's rights
Saudi Arabia is often internationally criticized for its treatment of women. However, in the past few years, significant progress has been made.
Earlier last year, the country lifted a long-standing and widely criticized ban on women driving, finally granting women their right to drive.
In recent months, the kingdom has also issued several decisions aimed at empowering women, including opening municipal elections to female candidates and making women's verbal consent to marriage mandatory.
The Saudi Shura Council announced an amendment to laws governing travel documents, which, when approved, will give women a right to obtain a passport without male permission.
In October 2017, the kingdom announced that women in the country will be allowed to attend sporting events in stadiums starting this year.
In that same year, the country reformed laws governing child marriage, divorce, alimony, and the custody of children.