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  • Sheryll Mericido

Riyadh 2023 World Combat Games reach midway point at Day 6

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – The Riyadh 2023 World Combat Games have reached the midway point, marking Day 6 of 11 at the King Saud University Arena in the Saudi Arabian capital.

The event has been marked by an electrifying atmosphere, both on and off the field. Visitors have had the opportunity to witness athletes from 16 martial arts and combat sports competing fiercely indoors or to explore various entertainment, cultural, and sporting options in the Fan Zone.

So far, the athletes from Ukraine and the host nation, Saudi Arabia, have garnered the most attention. Team Ukraine leads the medals table in terms of gold medals won (10), while Saudi Arabia has claimed the most medals overall (27 – 3 gold, 11 silver, and 13 bronze).

Six sports have already concluded at Riyadh 2023: Karate, Boxing, Wushu, SAMBO + Para SAMBO, Judo, and Sumo. However, their impact on the Games lingers.

Wrestling, Ju-Jitsu + Para Ju-Jitsu, Aikido + Para Aikido, Kickboxing, and Fencing are currently underway, while Armwrestling + Para Armwrestling, Taekwondo, Savate + Para Savate, Muaythai and Para Muaythai, and Kendo are scheduled to commence in the second half of the tournament, running from October 20 to 30.

In total, 80 sets of medals have been awarded, with athletes from 33 nationalities claiming gold and 72 nationalities earning at least one podium finish.

Ian Reid, CEO of Riyadh 2023 World Combat Games, expressed his reflections on the event, stating, “The dedication and meticulous planning by our teams have truly come to fruition. Riyadh has showcased its expertise as a world-class host, resonating with our initial vision for these Games."

Reid continued, "The fusion of elite athleticism, cultural heritage, and the country’s commitment to inclusivity and sportsmanship has been palpable. Observing the athletes, their passion and years of relentless training are evident in every match, elevating not only the standards of the Games but also encapsulating the true spirit of martial arts. We’re confident that as we approach the culmination, these Games will be remembered as a transformative moment for international sports hosted within Saudi Arabia.”

The Riyadh 2023 event stands out for its commitment to sustainability, hosting all 16 sports under one roof within the King Saud University Arena. This has significantly reduced the carbon footprint of the Games while simplifying the movement of athletes, spectators, and workers between sports.

Furthermore, Riyadh 2023 features the integration of para athletes and their able-bodied counterparts on the same national teams, unifying the medals table and emphasizing inclusion.

When asked about the second half of the sports calendar, Amro Turkistani, Head of Sports for the local organizing committee of Riyadh 2023, expressed his anticipation for Savate and Kendo, as they have never been organized in Saudi Arabia before. He highlighted the desire to see these sports grow and compete for medals in the future.

The event is being broadcast in over 100 countries and territories, with live streaming available on the official Riyadh 2023 website.

This promising start to the Riyadh 2023 World Combat Games bodes well for the second half of the competition. Don't miss it!

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