Reclaiming Fitspo: Ruqaya Al-Ghasra (رقية الغسرة)
Al-Ghasra is a sprinter from Bahrain. She became involved in athletics by playing on her school’s basketball team, before eventually moving onto track & field as a teenager. She placed sixth at the Arab Youth Championships in Damascus in 2000 and quickly began to garner national attention.
Al-Ghasra debuted at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, representing Bahraini women for the first time in Olympic history: She was the first Muslim woman from an Arabian country to compete at the Olympic Games. In 2005, she next became the first woman to ever win a race at the West Asian Games, when the Doha-hosted competition allowed female competitors for the first time.
In all, Al-Ghasra has won gold at the 2003 Arab Athletics Championships (in both the 100m and 200m), the 2008 Asian Indoor Championships ( setting a new championships record with a time of 7.40 seconds in the 60m), and the 2006 Asian Games. Additionally, she has three silver and one bronze medal to her name.
It was at the end of 2009 that she announced her retirement from professional athletics.
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