Spotlight Turns to Judo, Wrestling at Riyadh 2023

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – The Riyadh 2023 World Combat Games continues to captivate audiences worldwide. The 11-day event, showcasing 16 combat sports and martial arts disciplines, has already witnessed the exhilarating conclusion of Karate, Sambo, Boxing, Wushu, and Sumo, while today marked the grand entrance of Wrestling and Judo.

Following yesterday’s Sumo finals, an event which kept fans on the edge of their seats, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Ser Miang Ng presented the medals to Sumo’s open-weight winners. He expressed his enthusiasm for Saudi Arabia hosting the 2023 World Combat Games and highlighted the country’s promising future in international sports: “Whether it’s a championship or multi-sport event, Saudi Arabia has been working hard to develop its sports sector and open its doors to different competitions. The organization of the 2023 Games has been fantastic. The country is certainly continuing on the right path. We know of Saudi’s ambition to host the Olympics one day, and I wish them the very best.”

In the Judo competition, 84 athletes representing 14 nations participated in an epic knockout format that saw national teams consisting of three male and three female Judokas clash in various weight categories.

Standing tall at the end of the day was Team Uzbekistan, which took the gold from Brazil in the final, winning 4-2. Bronze medals were awarded to teams from Japan and Algeria.

Wrestling embarked on its exciting 4-day World Combat Games experience with the introduction of Grappling, a historic sport that utilizes a range of ground and submission techniques, including chokes and locks. Getting things started were Grappling and Grappling GI.

The men’s division saw weight categories of 66kg, 84kg, 92kg, GI 71kg and G1 100kg.

Mayis Nersesyan of Armenia won the 66 kg division, beating Yurii Cherkaliuk of Ukraine 2-0 in overtime. The 84kg victor was Ulugbek Rakhmonov of Uzbekistan, beating Kazakhstan’s Nurbek Talbudin 3-0. Roman Kiziuk of Ukraine placed first in the 92kg weight class over Mantas Daublys of Lithuania with a final score of 3-1. In the GI 71kg division, Sarsen Zhetibayev of Khazakstan beat Feruzbek Urokov of Uzbekistan 3-1 in the final.

In the day’s final event, Ivan Malin of Ukraine came out on top in the G1 100kg division against Reda Hamed Mebtouche of France with a score of 3-1. Eldar Rafigaev of Moldova and Evgenii Andreevich Slesarenko of Kyrgyzstan were awarded the bronze medals.

On the women’s side, athletes competed in weight categories of 58kg, 90kg, GI 53kg, G1 64kg and GI 71kg.

Alexa Toth of Hungary took the gold in the 58kg weight class, beating Viktoriia Syniavinaof Ukraine 3-1. In the 90kg category, Nikoletta Renata Szmolka of Hungary placed first over runner-up Claudia Carmen Carbonne Fornes of Spain.

The winner of the GI 53kg weight division was Rui Hirabayashi of Japan, who beat Naiomi Anaiansi Matthews Martin of Spain 3-0 in the final. Antonia Gamila Kanew of Germany placed first in the GI 64kg category against Delfina dos Santos Francisco of Angola by a score of 3-1

The winner of the GI 71kg category was Kateryna Stepanova of Ukraine, who beat Emily Marta Claribel Gunzler of Germany 5-0.

At the end of Day 4 of the Games, the medal standing was topped by Ukraine, followed by Independent Neutral Athletes and the People’s Republic of China leading.

In total, over 1,500 athletes from 120+ countries are competing in 16 martial arts and combat sports at Riyadh 2023. Up next on Day 5 will be Wrestling’s Greco-Roman discipline, with Aikido and Ju-Jitsu making their Riyadh 2023 debuts. Aikido is set to begin at 12 pm in KSU 3, while Ju-Jitsu will begin at 2pm in KSU 1. The Greco-Roman competition will begin at 11 am in KSU 5.

For the full results and competition schedule of the Riyadh 2023 World Combat Games, click here. Livestreaming of all the action can be viewed on the official Riyadh 2023 website.