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Hijab, long sleeves won't keep Egyptian volleyball player from sport at Rio Olympics

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Doaa Elghobashy Olympic Beach Volleyball player
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Doaa Elghobashy Olympic Beach Volleyball player
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 02: Doaa El-Ghobashy of Egypt serves during practice at the Arena de Vlei de Praia Beach Volleyball Venue on August 2, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Germany's Laura Ludwig (R) watches as Egypt's Doaa Elghobashy reacts during the women's beach volleyball qualifying match between Germany and Egypt at the Beach Volley Arena in Rio de Janeiro on August 7, 2016, for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. / AFP / Yasuyoshi Chiba (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 07: Doaa Elghobashy of Egypt signals during the Women's Beach Volleyball preliminary round Pool D match against Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Beach Volleyball Arena on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 07: Doaa Elghobashy of Egypt reacts during the Women's Beach Volleyball preliminary round Pool D match against Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Beach Volleyball Arena on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Egypt's Doaa Elghobashy (L) and Nada Meawad celebrate after winning a point during the women's beach volleyball qualifying match between Italy and Egypt at the Beach Volley Arena in Rio de Janeiro on August 9, 2016, for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. / AFP / Yasuyoshi Chiba (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 09: Viktoria Orsi Toth of Italy and Doaa Elghobashy of Egypt Vietnam for the ball during the Women's Beach Volleyball Preliminary Pool A match on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Beach Volleyball Arena on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 09: Nada Meawad (L) and Doaa Elghobashy of Egypt sit on the bench during the Women's Beach Volleyball Preliminary Pool A match against Marta Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth of Italy on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Beach Volleyball Arena on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 09: Doaa Elghobashy of Egypt looks on during the Women's Beach Volleyball Preliminary Pool A match against Marta Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth of Italy on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Beach Volleyball Arena on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
2016 Rio Olympics - Beach Volleyball - Women's Preliminary - Beach Volleyball Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/08/2016. Doaa Elghobashy (EGY) of Egypt reacts. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Beach Volleyball - Women's Preliminary - Beach Volleyball Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 09/08/2016. Doaa Elghobashy (EGY) of Egypt takes a selfie. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
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RIO DE JANEIRO — When Doaa Elghobashy made her debut at the Copacabana venue Sunday night, she was proud to represent Egypt as part of the nation's first Olympic beach volleyball team.

As for the hijab that covered her head and the long sleeves on her arms and legs, she never gave those a thought.

SEE MORE: Everything you need to know about the Summer Olympics

"I have worn the hijab for 10 years," she said after a 21-12, 21-15 loss to Germany. "It doesn't keep me away from the things I love to do, and beach volleyball is one of them."

Elghobashy and partner Nada Meawad qualified for the Summer Games through a regional competition designed to open the Olympic field to athletes beyond the Brazilians, Americans and Europeans who dominate the international pro tour.

Read more: 5 Things to Know About the Stylish U.S. Gymnastics Team

And when the Egyptians took to the court wearing pants and long sleeves, they were the beneficiaries of uniform regulations that were relaxed by the international volleyball federation before the London Games to avoid excluding cultures that might be turned off by the standard bikinis and board shorts.

"It was to open it up culturally," FIVB spokesman Richard Baker said Sunday night as the Egyptians played in their opening match of the Rio Games. "The goal was to allow more people to play the sport of volleyball."

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By one measure, it's worked. Baker said there were 169 countries involved in the Continental Cup qualifying process for the 2016 Olympic, compared with 143 for London.

Egypt had never qualified for either the men's or women's beach volleyball tournament at the Olympics.

"I'm proud to be seen raising the Egyptian flag in a carnival with so many nations," Elghobashy said.

Read more: Ibtihaj Muhammad: 5 Things to Know About The First U.S. Olympic Athlete to Compete in a Hijab

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