WATCH: Questions raised over Libya's first female bodybuilder
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Johannesburg – Fathia Al Amamy will become the first female bodybuilder from Libya to take part in an international bodybuilding championship when she travels to Belarus in July – if she can win support from her sport's national body.
Al Amamy, 48, and from Benghazi in eastern Libya, won the North African country's female body building female championship in Shahat in north-eastern Libya in March.
But despite her win, there have been questions raised over possible funding and support for her at the world bodybuilding and fitness championships to be held in Minsk even though her entrance has been accepted by the organisers, the Libya Herald reported on Thursday.
Mohamed Al Waseeh, Benghazi head of the Bodybuilding Federation, who is also Amamy's coach said he was hoping that the sport's national body would support her trip.
Al Amamy only took up the sport five years ago. She was persuaded by her trainer and members of her family to enter her first competition, the 2012 Eastern Region Championship, which she won.
She has taken part in a number of local competitions in addition to her win in Shahat.
Her wins are all the more remarkable because in Libya's patriarchal society there are no gyms for female bodybuilders, forcing her to train daily at a local sports centre.
An observant Muslim who wears the headscarf, Amamy says she would be very proud to represent Libya.