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Female athletes push for more 'inclusive' clothing

Female Olympic athletes are pushing back at outdated uniform regulations and demanding athleticism be prioritised over aesthetics.

Many have been pushing for uniform changes in the run up to this year's Tokyo Games.

The Norwegian beach handball team was fined for wearing shorts during their bronze medal match in the European Beach Handball Championship, instead of the regulation bikini bottoms.

Julie Aspelund Berg was on that team and said they made the choice as a statement of inclusivity.

"We want to make a change because we don't want the sport to exclude anyone. We wish it to be inclusive, for diversity. There are several countries and regions that don't allow women to dress the way the rules state. We wish there to be focus on the sport and not the clothing."

American singer Pink has added her voice of support to the team and said in a tweet she would be happy to help pay the fine.

With the Tokyo Olympics in full swing, the German women's gymnastics team competed in red and white full-body suits in their qualifications, instead of the regulated leotard.

Their unitards were a combination of a leotard and leggings down to the ankles.

Gymnast Sarah Voss says it was a decision to counter the sexualisation of the sport and to promote women to wear what makes them feel comfortable.

"We just want a free decision and everyone to be given the free possibility to wear what they want. It has nothing to do with performance, what team status one has, what league one competes in, the main thing is that you feel comfortable to compete."

Meanwhile, television coverage of the Games by the official Olympic broadcaster will focus only on athletes' performances and adopt a more gender-neutral approach to filming.

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