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Olympics    CATHOLIC WOMAN SOLE PAKISTANI FEMALE ATHLETE IN SYDNEY
A Catholic woman is the only female athlete on the Pakistan team competing at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
    20 year old Shazia Hidayat, a middle and long-distance runner told UCA news that she had to overcome big obstacles to become a member of the national team.
    Some authorities were insisting that the Pakistani team be all male, she said, recalling the question being raised of how a Pakistani woman could race in a competition in which other women do not wear clothes that cover their body.
    Hidayat said this question made her realize that if she qualified, she would probably have to wear a jogging suit while others wore shorts. Girls in Pakistan, when allowed to take part in sports, must wear such suits.
    Hidayat's achievement in making the national team comes after Yousaf Youhanna, another Catholic, made a name for himself and Pakistan in cricket, a favorite sport in the country.
    Christians comprise less than 3% of Pakistan's 140 million people, some 95 percent of whom are Muslims.
   
UCAN
   
20 Sep 00



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