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The Islamic Republic of Iran and Egypt won the first medals for their country in women's taekwondo at Rio 2016 Olympic Games.


Young women from Muslim countries are a growing force in taekwondo and, at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, that is being manifested in rising success.


The bronze medals for Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Hedaya Wahba of Egypt in the women's -57kg on Thursday (18 August) showcases the talent that comes from North Africa and the Middle East.


The medals are the first for a female taekwondoka from either country and, in Alizadeh Zenoorin's case, the first Olympic medal for a woman from Iran. It may not be the last.


"I hope that this medal can open the way for other girls (from Iran) to get to the Olympics and to get medals," said 18-year-old Alizadeh Zenoorin, who was the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympics champion.


"In the next Olympics I hope to get more medals, the best medal, gold medal, and I want to give this to Iranian girls."


Wahba, who is another woman who competes wearing a hijab, said: "It is a good opportunity. You can do your own sport without having restrictions of what you are going to wear, that's the best thing about it."


"We are all equal and respect each other's religion."