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Monday, August 8, 2016
Beach volleyball star's outfit attracts worldwide media attention in a sport used to seeing the tiniest of bikinis
Doaa Elghobashy (EGY) of Egypt and Kira Walkenhorst (GER) of Germany compete
Women's beach volleyball usually attracts criticism because the athletes' kit is too skimpy.
However, 19-year-old Egyptian player Doaa Elghobashy is turning perceptions of the sport on their head.
Whereas her rivals hit the sand on Copacabana beach in bikinis that would make a Page Three model think twice, Doaa competes in a headscarf, leggins and full-length sleeves. Her feet are bare.
Her team-mate Nada Meawad also wears leggins and sleeves, but not a headscarf.
Elghobashy, who has worn the hijab for 10 years, has said that the traditional dress doesn't prevent her from doing the things she loves.
Egypt's Nada Meawad (L) also wears sleeves and leggings, but keeps her head uncovered
The outfits were a world away from those worn by their opponents from Germany, Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst, who sported the regulation two-piece outfit.
For the record the Egyptian pairing lost 21-12, 21-15 to Germany.
The International Volleyball Federation relaxed its rules on uniforms to allow the use of leggings and sleeves ahead of the London Olympics in 2012.
It was a move designed to open up the game to other cultures and it has worked to some degree.
There have been 26 more countries involved in the race to get to Rio than there were in London, with 169 countries involved in qualifying process.
It is not the first time the women's volleyball has attracted headlines in Rio.
Fierce competitor: Elghobashy looks pretty pleased with herself as Egypt win a point against the Germans
A United States beach volleyball pair become the latest Olympians to be heckled with shouts of 'Zika' as they compete.
Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat were taunted with the chants by a small section of the crowd at the Beach Volleyball Arena on Copacabana's Beach.
The crowd tried to put them off as they served during their defeat by Polish pair Kinga Kolosinska and Monika Brzostek in their opening encounter.
A Team USA official confirmed that they heard the taunts that came towards the end of the match.
It is the second time Team USA stars have been heckled with the chants after a number of Americans refused to participate in the Games, citing the Zika virus as one of the factors.
Heather Bansley of Canada celebrates winning a point
Canada's Heather Bansley gestures to her teammate during the women's beach volleyball
Daily Mirror/Andy Stenning
Plenty of space: Despite beach volleyball's popularity in Brazil the venue has not been full
US female football star Hope Solo was also targetted with the chants though she had made an issue of it on social media.
The goalkeeper was booed during a pool match against France on Saturday night during the game against New Zealand at Estádio Mineirão in Belo Horizonte.
A section of the crowd chanted 'Olê, Olê, Olê, Olá — Zika! Zika!' at her.
Female athletess in particular are being targetted because the virus, spread by mosquito bites, can cause birth defects in babies if transferred by pregnant mothers.
August 08, 2016
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