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Hijab wearing US Muslim athlete wins bronze in women's sabre in Rio Games
Sunday August 14, 2016 11:16 PM, IINA

Ibtihaj Muhammad

Rio de Janeiro:
Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first United State Olympian to wear a hijab during competition, has won a bronze medal along with her teammates in the women's team sabre in Rio Olympics Games.

Muhammad came to the Rio Games determined to show the world that Muslim-American women can excel in sports and she will return home to New Jersey with proof that she was right. The U.S. routed Italy 45-30 to clinch third place on Saturday and the first women's medal in fencing for the Americans in Rio, Mail Online sport news reported.

'This is sport. It doesn't matter what hair color you have, or what religion you are. The point is to go out there and be the best athlete you can be,' said teammate Dagmara Wozniak. 'We're the best explanation of what American is. A mix of so many different cultures and races, and everything all together.'

Muhammad made headlines around the world on Monday simply by wearing a hijab on the piste, adhering to the tenets of her Muslim faith.

The attention for the team event was much more focused simply on fencing and Ibtihaj reminded folks why she made the Olympic team in the first place.

'This has been a long journey for us,' Ibtihaj said. 'To be able to compete at the level that we've worked toward, on the world's biggest stage, the Olympic Games, is truly a blessing for us... I'll never forget this moment.'

The Americans opened against Poland, blowing an 11-point lead before two-time Olympic champion Mariel Zagunis got the US through with a deft torso touch for the win.

Russia won the first four of the nine-bout semifinals to go ahead 20-12, but Muhammad slowed Russia's momentum with a narrow victory over second-ranked Yana Egorian.

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