Though Shaherkhani lost the match to Puerto Rican competitor Melissa Mojica, she recognized her moment in the spotlight. According to NBC, immediately after her match she said she was “happy to be at the Olympics,” adding: “Unfortunately, we did not win a medal, but in the future we will and I will be a star for women’s participation.”
Shaherkhani has the support of her father as well; an international judo referee, he attended his daughter’s first-ever international match, noting to NBC the odds she was up against.
Though the young judoka faced criticism and even insults from some of her countrymen online, there was also plenty of support:
Saudi judoka Wojdan Shaherkhani lost to her much more experienced competitor in less than 40 seconds, but many are proud of her
— Ahmed Al Omran (@ahmed) August 3, 2012
Wojdan lost not because Saudi women lack potential but rather bcoz Saudi govt. made it almost impossible 4 women to practice sports locally
— Jaffar Alsaffar (@jsaffar) August 3, 2012