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Iran Allows First Female Triathlete To Compete For Country

Shirin Gerami, 24, will race in full Islamic dress and Iranian flag colors in world triathlon grand final in London's Hyde Park.

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Shirin Gerami, 24, will race in full Islamic dress and Iranian flag colors in world triathlon grand final in London’s Hyde Park.

A 24-year-old woman from Iran will this weekend make history in London by becoming the first female triathlete to take part in a world championship under the green, white and red colors of the Islamic republic’s flag.

Shirin Gerami will join 8,500 athletes from 83 countries taking part in the ITU World Triathlon London Grand Final in Hyde Park, competing in full Islamic dress through a 1,500 meter swim, a 40km bike race and 10km run.

Gerami, who lives in Britain, wrote to the authorities at Iran’s ministry for sports and youth affairs four months ago, attempting to persuade them that Iranian women could compete in the triathlon. She traveled to Iran a few weeks ago to push her case. “When I turned up in person on their doorsteps, they realized that I am very serious, and I am willing to do anything,” she told the Guardian in an interview from Tehran, one day before flying back to London. “I was overwhelmed by how far people went in order to support me.”

Officials at Iran’s national triathlon federation told Gerami this week that she can participate in the London event.

Read more: Theguardian.com