The Jakarta Post
Miftahul Jannah, a visually impaired athlete from Indonesia who was disqualified at the 2018 Asian Para Games after refusing to take off her hijab in blind judo, has said she will leave judo to pursue a career in chess.
Athletes in the blind judo discipline are not allowed to compete with headwear for safety reasons.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Miftahul said she would not stop being an athlete who fights for her country, so she would switch to chess, a game she has excelled at since she was a child.
Miftahul said she decided to commit to the change because she refused to compete as a judoka without a hijab.
She said she started playing chess when she was 4 years old. Two years later, she started competing in chess tournaments and saw satisfying results.
“Chess is a hobby that I really love. Chess is like my best friend and I want to again devote myself to chess,” Miftahul said.
Even though, in the future, the International Judo Federation (IJF) will begin to allow women to wear hijabs during competitions, Miftahul said she would focus on being a chess player.
The judoka was disqualified after she refused to take off her hijab during a competition on Monday.
Point 4 of IJF Refereeing Rules Article 4 states that the head of a judoka shall not be covered, except for medical reasons.
Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi said the ministry would ask the federation to adjust its rules so that it could accommodate athletes who wear hijabs. (nkn)