Al-Gassra breezes on in Olympic 200m with her aerodynamic burka

Society Materials 19 August 2008 17:04 (UTC +04:00)

Asian champion Roqaya al-Gassra of Bahrain stormed into the 200 metres semi-finals on Tuesday, making headlines with her fast times and her aerodynamic burka, dpa reported.

Al-Gassra won her second-round race in 22.76 seconds to make the final 16 along with all the Jamaican and American favourites.

"I am happy," was all al-Gassra said after her race which was just 11 hundredths off her personal best 22.65 seconds.

Al-Gassra is running fully covered in accordance with Muslim tradition, wearing a long body suit.

She covers her head not with a scarf but with a hood. The outfit resembles the one Cathy Freeman wore in her golden 400m run at Sydney 2000.

Co-100m silver medallist Sherone Simpson of Jamaica led the session with 22.60 seconds and American world champion Allyson Felix also made the semis easily in 22.74.