PARIS: Alarm grew on Tuesday over the wellbeing of Iranian sports climber Elnaz Rekabi after she competed at an event in South Korea without a hijab in what some saw as a gesture of solidarity with the women-led protests at home. Rekabi, 33, in her first comment since the event at the Asian Championships in Seoul on Sunday, apologised on Instagram for the “concerns” caused and insisted her bare-headed appearance had been “unintentional”. In the initial bouldering discipline her head was covered with a bandana but in the later lead climbing, scaling a high wall with a rope, she wore only a headband, the stream posted by the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) showed. This was in breach of the Islamic Republic’s mandatory dress rules for women. The gesture came one month into protests in Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini, arrested in Tehran for allegedly violating the dress rules, which have transformed into a movement against the obligatory hijab and the Islamic republic itself. Nothing had been heard since the event from Rekabi, who finished fourth, until a story was published Tuesday on her Instagram account where she has over 200,000 followers.