Phoenix rising: hijab-wearing wrestler conquers a man’s world

Sport

Phoenix rising: hijab-wearing wrestler conquers a man’s world

By day she's a soft-spoken hospital worker, but in the ring she transforms into something fearsome - and she's breaking down barriers

AFP

A diminutive, hijab-wearing Malaysian wrestler known as “Phoenix” cuts an unusual figure in the ring, a female Muslim fighter taking on hulking opponents in a male-dominated world.

Dressed in flame-patterned trousers, a black and orange hijab and top, Nor Diana uses sophisticated moves to throw and pin down her larger rivals in front of hundreds of cheering spectators. Standing just 1.55m tall and weighing 43kg, her speed and agility make her a match for almost any opponent.

And far from being criticised by conservatives for throwing herself into wrestling, the 19-year-old has become a hit on social media and spurred the interest of other headscarf-wearing women...

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