Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – The spotlight remains firmly fixed on Saudi Arabia as we close in on the midway mark of the Riyadh 2023 World Combat Games. Aikido, Ju-Jitsu, Boxing, Judo, Karate, Sambo, Sumo, Wushu and Wrestling have already delivered exhilarating final events, captivating audiences worldwide. Showcasing 16 combat and martial arts disciplines, this 11-day sporting spectacle continues to unfold in the heart of Riyadh.
On Day 5, attention turned to Aikido, Ju-Jitsu, and Wrestling, with gold medallists hailing from a vast array of countries, including Germany, Albania, Colombia, Montenegro, Morocco, Egypt, Albania, the UAE, Canada, Algeria, and Slovenia. After today’s final events, Ukraine, Independent Neutral Athletes and China currently hold the lead for gold medals.
Inspired by traditional Japanese fighting techniques and promoting self-improvement, Aikido showcased eight demonstration teams today. Categorized as a demonstration martial art with its use of alternating attacks and defences, the sport does not have gender or weight classifications.
In Riyadh, eight demonstration teams showcased various interpretations of the martial arts discipline, including a Saudi Arabian Team, a Japanese Team, Aikido Fundamentals, Advanced Aikido, Para Aikido, Aikido Experts, Shihan and Doho Cho.
Steeped in more than 600 years of history, Ju-Jitsu is a traditional martial art that promotes self-defence. The Ju-Jitsu International Federation (JJIF) regulates competitions in four different disciplines and is a staple of both the World Combat Games and the Asian Games.
Yesterday’s competition saw Ju-Jitsu Fighting and Ju-Jitsu Ne-Waza, as well as male and female Duo Teams. Fighting Ju-Jitsu is a modern form of the martial art and is known for its more comprehensive range of techniques, including striking, throwing techniques, and groundwork. Ne-Waza uses grappling techniques such as pins, joint locks, and strangles. The movements are performed on the ground and are used to hold an opponent down and disable his movement.
The -52kg Fighting division saw Ramona Lixandru of Romania beat Daria Honcharenko of Ukraine in the final, 15-9. In the -70kg Ne-Waza, gold was awarded to Denise Krahn of Germany, who outscored Khulan Batbaatar of Mongolia 2-0. Stephanie Faure of France took bronze.
Gold in the +70kg was presented to Laura Valentina Castillo of Colombia, with silver going to Lauryne Lage of France. Bronze was awarded to Hungary’s Tereza Crisley Cordeiro De Souza.
In the women’s Duo Team competition, Team Slovenia secured the gold over Austria with a final score of 69-65.
In the -56kg Ne-Waza, Omar Alsuwaidi topped the podium for the UAE. Second place went to Neville Robles of Mexico. Sarvarbek Rakhmonberdiev of Uzbekistan took bronze with a win by decision.
The winner of the men’s -85kg Ne-Waza category was Saeed Hamad Taufiq Alkubaisi of the UAE, who triumphed over Omar Tariq Nada of Saudi Arabia by submission. Third went to Nathan Dos Santos of Canada.
Gold in the men’s Duo Team competition was awarded to Montenegro, who beat Austria 77-75 in the final. Bronze was awarded to Thailand.
Ismail Ettalibi of Morocco overcame Mohamed Yacine Dridi of Algeria 3-1 to win the Greco-Roman 60kg division, with bronze awarded to Ryan Mazen B Hawsawi of Saudi Arabia.
Gold in the 67kg class was awarded to Moustafa Hussein Alameldin of Egypt who took down Faisal Khalid E Aldossary of Saudi Arabia 4-0. Bronze went to Saud Ibrahim Alsubaie of Saudi Arabia.
The 77kg finals saw Kevin Kupi of Albania winning 4-0 over Hassan Saleh Barnawi of Saudi Arabia. Bronze was collected by Mohammed Bander Baihgy of Saudi Arabia.
The 87kg division saw Bachir Sid Azara of Algeria take the gold with a final score of 4-0 over Saudi Arabia’s Sanad Adnan Alsibyani. Bronze was awarded to Abdullah Saad Aldossary of Saudi Arabia.
Egypt’s Mohamed Aly Elsayed Gabr took the 97kg division by a score of 5-0 against Adem Boudjemline of Algeria. Tunisia’s Mohamed Skander Missaoui of Tunisia took third.
In the 130kg category, victory was secured by Egypt’s Mohamed Ahmed Abdellatif, who defeated Ahmed Shaalan Adbulkadhim Al Tameemi of Iraq. Bronze was awarded to Saudi Arabia’s Ghazi Ali Bin Bakr.
Today’s events will see the continuation of Aikido, Wrestling and Ju-Jitsu and the start of Fencing and Kickboxing.
In total, over 1,500 athletes from 120+ countries are competing in 16 martial arts and combat sports at Riyadh 2023.
Fans who wish to catch the competition online can visit the Riyadh 2023 World Combat Games’ official website, where each event will be live-streamed.