In the past few months, Saudi sportswomen have been making history - one championship at a time.

On Thursday, Al Anoud Al Khalifi and Afnan Sabbagh became the first-ever Saudi women to take part in the West Asia and GCC Weightlifting Championship, currently being held in Oman.

Not only that, the two women took home a total of 12 medals at the tournament, with Al Anoud winning 6 gold medals in the adult 64kg category and Sabbagh 6 bronze medals in the adult 55kg section. 

Saudi Arabia's Weightlifting Federation hailed the women's wins in a post uploaded to Twitter. 


Saudi male weightlifters have also been winning big at the championship, taking home tens of medals. 

The tournament, which saw the participation of more than 100 weightlifters from 12 countries, started on Mar. 26 and is set to wrap on Apr. 1. 

Saudi women's participation this year comes at a time when weightlifting is gaining popularity among women in the kingdom. 

For decades, the sport was off-limits for Saudi women as it was deemed an activity only fit for men. Many also believed in superstitious ideas surrounding the sport including one stating that it may "make girls aggressive."

However, all of that has been changing as more Saudi women break into the field and prove they're able to make incredible achievements in it. 

Thousands hailed the women's achievements on Twitter

"Another achievement for our country as the journey of women in sports continues. I salute both the champions Afnan Al Sabbagh and Al Anoud Al Khalifi." 

"Though women sports are still new to Saudis, our girls are making achievements in their first participations"

"Alf mabrook"

Saudi women have been making history in sports this year

Last month, Saudi women participated in the Special Olympics World Summer Games for the first time and won gold in basketball. The country's female basketball team scored the gold medal in the championship final, beating Ivory Coast.

Days before the achievement, another Saudi woman, Zahra Al-Qurashi, made history after winning the kingdom's first-ever gold medal in kickboxing at the Open International Tournament for Clubs in Amman, Jordan.

The kingdom has seen significant progress when it comes to women in sports

Saudi women have long been restricted from practicing sports and competing at sporting events, but the kingdom has seen significant progress in recent years. 

Saudi Arabia sent female athletes to compete for the first time at the 2012 Olympic Games. The country had succumbed to international pressure and agreed to send two female Olympians three weeks before the games, following threats of being banned from the event.

In October 2017, Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan became the kingdom's first-ever female president of a sports federation that manages activities for both men and women.

Since then, the kingdom has held its first basketball tournament for women and its first women's run.