First American with hijab competes in Olympics

Ibtihaj Muhammad from United States, prepares to compete with Olena Kravatska from Ukraine, during the women's saber individual fencing event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Ibtihaj Muhammad from United States, prepares to compete with Olena Kravatska from Ukraine, during the women's saber individual fencing event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The third day of the Rio Games featured a first: fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad made history Monday by becoming the first American to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab.

Muhammad, sporting a plain black Muslim head scarf under a red, white and blue mask, was a winner in her opening bout in the women's sabre tournament, beating Olena Kravatska of Ukraine 15-13 before losing in the next round to Ceclia Berder of France.

Muhammad, a New Jersey native who started fencing in part because the uniform allowed her to adhere to the tenets of her faith, also competes in the team event later this week.

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