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  • Sheryll Mericido

Riyadh 2023 World Combat Games commence with thrilling Day 1

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – The Riyadh 2023 World Combat Games kicked off on Day 1 with an exhilarating start at the King Saud University Arena. Athletes from across the globe displayed their formidable skills in Boxing, SAMBO + Para SAMBO, and Karate's Kumite and Kata disciplines, captivating audiences worldwide.

SAMBO, known for its fusion of wrestling and self-defense techniques, initiated the action with 79 athletes from 23 nations, including three representing the host nation, Saudi Arabia.

In the women's weight categories, champions included Maria Amyulina Guedez (Independent Neutral Athlete) in the under 50kg, Ibodatkhon Agojonova (Uzbekistan) in the under 59kg, Iana Poliakova (Independent Neutral Athlete) in the under 65kg, and Anzhela Zhylinskaya (Independent Neutral Athlete) in the under 72kg. The men's champions comprised Ali Tursunov (Independent Neutral Athlete) in the under 71kg, Pavel Panteleev (Independent Neutral Athlete) in the under 64kg, Furkat Ruziev (Uzbekistan) in the under 79kg, Aslan Kurbanov (Independent Neutral Athlete) in the under 88kg, Raman Damiyeu (Independent Neutral Athlete) in the under 98kg, and Temirlan Kolbay (Kazakhstan) in the over 88kg category.

Ten blind Paralympians proudly represented SAMBO's Paralympic division. Luis Elder Moreno Garcia (Venezuela) clinched gold in the under 79kg weight class, with silver going to Oleg Nemtan (Moldova), and bronze medals awarded to Independent Neutral Athlete Viktor Rudenko and Mishiko Shiobrishvili (Georgia).

Karate, a significant component of the World Combat Games, showcased the skills of Kumite and Kata athletes. Chiara Manca (Belgium) triumphed in the female Kata division, while the male Kata final saw Yu Hin Tang (Hong Kong) seize the gold.

Gold medalists in the female Kumite weight divisions featured Sofia Balcazar Ardenas (Colombia) in the under 50kg category and Louiza Abouriche (Algeria) in the under 55kg. Jina Abdelali (Morocco) claimed the top spot in the men's under 60kg, and Ahmed Lotfy (Egypt) secured the gold in the under 67kg.

In the realm of Boxing, the day's matches featured 34 competitors across various weight categories, including women's 50kg, 54kg, and 60kg, as well as men's 51kg, 63.5kg, 71kg, 80kg, and over 92kg. The semifinalists and bronze medalists have been determined, with the next day set to decide the gold and silver winners in their respective weight classes.

The upcoming day will witness the final day of Karate, SAMBO, and Boxing. Wushu and Sumo will also commence their Riyadh 2023 campaigns on Day 2. Fans looking to follow the competition online can visit the official website of the Riyadh 2023 World Combat Games, where each event will be live-streamed.

About the Riyadh 2023 World Combat Games:

Riyadh 2023 hosts over 1,500 athletes from 120+ countries, competing in 16 martial arts and combat sports: Aikido, Armwrestling, Boxing, Fencing, Judo, Ju-Jitsu, Karate, Kendo, Kickboxing, Muaythai, SAMBO, Savate, Sumo, Taekwondo, Wrestling, and Wushu.

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