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  • Sheryll Mericido

Saudi athlete Al-Murdhi wins bronze in 62kg jiu-jitsu at Asian Games.

HANGZHOU — Saudi athlete Abdulmalik Al-Murdhi secured a historic bronze medal in the jiu-jitsu 62-kilogram category during the inaugural day of the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. This marked Saudi Arabia's first-ever medal in jiu-jitsu since its introduction at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.

Prince Fahd bin Jalawi, the head of the Saudi delegation to the Asian Games and vice president of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee, awarded the medals to Al-Murdhi and other victors. With Al-Murdhi's bronze, Saudi Arabia's medal tally in the competition reached seven, comprising three gold, two silver, and two bronze medals.

Al-Murdhi secured the bronze by defeating Jordan's Khalil Al-Arnaut. He had previously triumphed over a Mongolian opponent in the round of 32 with a 6-0 score, followed by a 2-0 victory against an Iranian competitor in the round of 16. In the quarter-finals, he achieved victory by submission against a Filipino opponent before succumbing to UAE's Khalid Al-Balooshi in the semi-finals with a score of 0-2. UAE secured a gold and three silvers in the jiu-jitsu finals, with Khaled Al-Shehi winning gold in the 62-kilogram weight category.

Al-Murdhi expressed his joy at becoming the first Saudi athlete to win a jiu-jitsu medal at the Asian Games, emphasizing the fierce competition throughout the tournament.

In other Asian Games events, Saudi athlete Muhammad Shawin, competing in the marathon, had to withdraw 10 kilometers before the finish line due to a muscle injury.

Saudi Arabia's show jumping team aims to maintain its leading position in Asia during the individual show jumping competitions, featuring riders Ramzi Al-Dahami, Abdullah Al-Sharbatly, Abdul Rahman Al-Rajhi, and Meshari Al-Harbi.

Meanwhile, in karate, Sultan Al-Zahrani reached the quarter-finals in the 75 kg kumite category but lost to Malaysia's Raghunathan Charmandran with a score of 2-5. Tariq Hamidi aspires to win gold in the 84 kg competition, aiming to become the first Saudi to achieve this in Asian Games karate. Previously, he secured a bronze medal in the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games.

In basketball, the Saudi team concluded its participation in the tournament with a match against Iran to determine fifth and sixth places.

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