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  • Ahmed Saleh

World Combat Games Day 9 featured diverse international martial arts

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – The ninth day of the highly anticipated World Combat Games in Riyadh brought forth a diverse showcase of international martial arts and combat sports. It marked the debut of historically renowned sports such as Muaythai, Savate, and Taekwondo at the King Saud University Arena in Riyadh in the year 2023.

Muaythai enthusiasts from all corners of the world converged in Riyadh, ready to showcase their skills at the world's largest gathering of martial arts and combat sports. While the first day primarily featured preliminary matches leading up to the final two days of intense competition, medals were awarded in the men's and women's Wai Kru categories. In the men's division, Ka Chun Mok from Hong Kong, China secured the gold, defeating Mohit Verma from India. Meanwhile, the women's division saw Malaysia's Jia Chi Yan narrowly triumph over Islay Erika Bomogao from the Philippines. The day concluded with an exhilarating Mixed Mai Muay final, where Alyssa Kylie Mallari and Rhichein Yosorez from the Philippines claimed the gold, while their compatriots Ariel Lee Lampacan and Phillip Delarmino earned silver.

Savate, the traditional French combat sport, also took the center stage in Riyadh for a thrilling three-day competition. The first gold medal in Savate was clinched by Germany's Nicole Holzmann, who emerged victorious with a 3-0 win over Eunjung Kim from the Republic of Korea in the women's Canne De Combat. In the men's category, Independent Neutral Athlete Thomas Richard Dardour secured the gold by defeating Michal Vrastil from Czechia. The Wheelchair Canne de Combat and finals in the men's and women's Assaut disciplines are scheduled for the upcoming day.

Taekwondo, the Olympic sport, commenced its three days of competition with Mixed Gender Team Kyorugi action. Teams from Australia, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Morocco, Türkiye, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia engaged in a round-robin format to determine the qualifiers for the next round. The Republic of Korea, Mexico, Morocco, and Türkiye emerged victorious, earning their spots in the highly anticipated semifinals scheduled for October 30. The upcoming day will feature the men's and women's Poomsae semifinals and the mixed pair Poomsae finals.

Armwrestling concluded its two days of thrilling competition in Riyadh, and the event culminated with the awarding of medals. Gokhan Seven from Türkiye claimed his second gold medal in the Men's Right Arm Para Sitting category by defeating Kazakhstan's Nikita Yermakov. Alona Hornich from Ukraine secured her second gold medal in the Women's Right Arm Para Standing category, adding to the title she had previously won in the Left Arm category. Olesia Bessalnova and Anna Sudnitsyna, also from Ukraine, faced off in the Women's Right Arm Para Visual final, with Bessalnova emerging victorious.

The Men's Right Arm Para Standing category witnessed a thrilling battle, with Nyshanaly Sanim from Kazakhstan ultimately securing the gold by outlasting Hungary's Daniel Simon. The Men's and Women's Right Arm categories featured intense competition, with European athletes dominating the finals. Notable winners included Esra Kiraz from Türkiye, Rebeka Martinkovic from Slovakia, Mona Ann-sofi Reisek from Sweden, and Barbora Bajciova from Slovakia. The Men's categories saw remarkable performances, including a disqualification that gifted gold to Armenia's Vachagan Hovhannisyan, Daniel Procopciuc's victory in an all-Moldovan final, and impressive wins by Viorel Marian Dobrin from Romania, Yesbolat Karzhau from Kazakhstan, Rino Masic from Croatia, and Oleg Mykhailenko from Ukraine. Markus Moricke from Sweden claimed silver in the Men's Right Arm heavyweight category.

Armwrestling, a new addition to the World Combat Games, captivated both live and remote spectators and added excitement to the event lineup.

As we look ahead to Day 10, Kendo action will kick off in KSU 4, while Muaythai (KSU 2), Savate (KSU 5), and Taekwondo (KSU 1) will continue to thrill the audience with their intense competitions. The World Combat Games in Riyadh continue to be a spectacular display of international martial arts and combat sports, showcasing the world's best athletes in their respective disciplines.

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