Rahma Alkhawahr believes there is are "a lot of" good female sporting talents in Saudi Arabia ©Saudi Games

Rahma Alkhawahr has said she is aiming to capitalise on her landmark Saudi Games success by becoming an "example" for other women athletes in the country.

Female sporting participation has historically been suppressed in Saudi Arabia, with women from the country only competing at the Olympics for the first time at London 2012 before more were sent to Rio 2016.

However, when the official announcement came of the Olympic team in Brazil, only the seven men were listed, and no mention was given to the three women.

Developments have shifted since 2017 following the launch of Vision 2030, with the country claiming that 25 National Federations now have national women's teams.

Yet high-level competition for women has rarely been facilitated in Saudi Arabia prior to the inaugural Saudi Games.

Alkhawahr cashed in on this opportunity by taking up weightlifting a year ago, which ultimately led her to winning the women's 49 kilograms class and becoming the first Saudi Games gold medallist.

"Of course, it has such a great importance," she told insidethegames of a woman securing the first title.

"I want to continue to be an example for other women athletes to preserve and earn more and more achievements.

"We have a lot of good talents who just need support and confidence, which the Government is already proving for all athletes."

Several women's events are on the Saudi Games programme ©Saudi Games
Several women's events are on the Saudi Games programme ©Saudi Games

Forty-five sports are on the Saudi Games programme, with several allowing participation of women.

Archery, athletics, basketball, badminton, beach volleyball, billiards, bowling, boxing, chess, cycling, equestrian, fencing, indoor rowing, judo, golf, jujitsu, karate, padel, Para athletics, sport climbing, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, volleyball and weightlifting are among those where women can compete.

In some cases, sports have more men's events than women's, with one example being swimming having only the women's 50 metres breaststroke and 50m freestyle on its schedule.

Nevertheless, Alkhawahr believes the Saudi Games will have a lasting effect on women's sport in the country.

"The effect is very clear through the competitions that we have seen, which have been strong," she said.

"Motivation is pushing each athlete to do her best and raise her level to achieve this great achievement.

"The Saudi Games is proving to have strong impact in stimulating the spirit of competition.

"We will see this impact through athletes appearing in all sports."