UAE 'karate princess' to make Olympic history

Sheikha Maitha is first Gulf woman to carry flag


Sheikha Maitha bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, part of the United Arab Emirates' ruling family, will make history on Friday when she becomes the first Gulf woman to carry a flag at an Olympics opening ceremony.

The 28-year-old Sheikha Maitha, the daughter of Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the UAE prime minister, will take part in the 67kg category of the taekwondo competition.

She was a silver medallist at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha and was named as the Arab athlete of the year in 2007.

"Everyone who is going to compete in Beijing is coming here to win, and I am no exception," Sheikha Maitha told the Gulf News.

"I feel it is my duty and my responsibility to go and represent my country. I have a challenge before me and all I can do is to strive and be true to myself and give more than 100 per cent," she said.

The sheikha was included in Forbes Magazine's list of the "20 Hottest Young Royals" in 2008.