Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – Day eight of the Riyadh 2023 World Combat Games was a testament to skill, determination, and sportsmanship. Fans today were met with the intensity of Kickboxing’s Low Kick and Point Fighting championships, culminating with the presentation of 12 gold medals.
The first World Combat Games champions in Armwrestling were also crowned, with competition featuring Left Arm, Para Sitting and Para Standing athletes. The finesse and strategy of Fencing were also on full display during the Sabre and Foil team event finals, adding another four sets of medals added to the tally.
The day concluded with 30 gold medals awarded in total, underscoring the immense talent showcased during the 11 days of martial arts and sports combat competition. Since the Riyadh 2023 World Combat Games grand opening on 20 October, 41 medals have been awarded to Saudi Arabia. At the end of Day 8, Ukraine stands atop the podium, leading the total gold medal count with 18, with Kazakhstan in second with 10. Saudi Arabia is third with nine total gold medals.
After three full days of qualifiers and semifinals, Kickboxing reached its thrilling climax today. The competition showcased two distinguished disciplines: Low Kick and Point Fighting. In Low Kick, athletes deliver forceful strikes to the legs of their opponents. In contrast, Point Fighting emphasizes speed and precision, with competitors landing quick, controlled blows to tally points.
In the women’s Low Kick, Brazil’s Maria Eduarda Costa Alves secured the gold in the -48kg division, with Julina Nilusmas of France taking the top spot in the -56kg category, and Serbia’s Valentina Keri striking gold in the -65kg.
Gold in women’s Point Fighting was secured by Italy’s Carol Scacchi in the -55kg, Andrea Busa of Hungary in the -65kg and Jodie Browne of Ireland in the -70kg.
On the men’s side, Low Kick gold was awarded to Amin Guliyev of Azerbaijan in the -60kg, Abror Khakimov of Kyrgyzstan in the -71kg and Brazil’s Lucas Rafael Ferraz Dos Santos in the -81kg.
In Men’s Point Fighting, champions included Hungary’s Bence Laszlo Zajacz in the -69kg alongside compatriot Lajos Imre Fesu in the -79kg and Great Britain’s Christopher John Aston in the -94kg.
Armwrestling, an ancient tradition, requires a blend of strength and strategy. The sport’s debut at the World Combat Games began with intense battles in various male and female weight divisions and Para categories. Athletes showcased their gripping, leveraging, and endurance skills, employing diverse techniques to gain an advantage.
In the women’s Left Arm category, Esra Kirav from Turkey secured victory in the -55kg, Aigerim Karamanova from Kazakhstan claimed the -65kg title, Sweden’s Mona Ann-sofi Reisek emerged as the champion in the -80kg, and Barbora Bajciova from Slovakia took the +80kg.
Ukraine excelled in both Para events, with Alona Hornich taking first place in the Women’s Left Arm Para Standing event and Olesia Bessalnova securing gold in the Women’s Left Arm Para Visual category.
In the men’s Left Arm division, Kazakhstan’s Yerdaulet Sarybay secured the -70kg with an extra-round victory, while compatriot Nurdaulet Aidarkhan took top spot in the -80kg. In the -90kg division, Marius-aurel Jurovschi of Romania was victorious. In the men’s Left Arm -100kg, Kazakhstan’s Talgat Aktayev took the win. In the -110kg, Rino Masic of Croatia won gold, while Kazakhstan’s Medet Kuttymuratov secured the +110kg category.
The champion of the Men’s Left-Arm Para Standing division was Daniel Simon of Hungary, while the gold in the men’s Left-Arm Para Sitting category was awarded to Gokhan Seven of Turkey.
The fencing competitions featured team championships in Sabre and Foil. In Foil, coordinated precision strikes above the waist set the stage for intense battles, while Sabre features an exhilarating combination of individual expertise and group strategy. Fans were mesmerized by the distinct scoring systems, from Épée’s double touches to Foil’s right-of-way conventions, underlining the captivating nature of the sport.
The Women’s Foil team saw the United Arab Emirates securing first place with a 45-13 win over Saudi Arabia. Bahrain and Iraq earned bronze.
In the Women’s Sabre team event, Saudi Arabia emerged victorious with a 45-25 win over United Arab Emirates.
In the Men’s Sabre team event, Saudi Arabia was awarded the gold thanks to a 45-33 win in the final over Iraq. Kuwait and the UAE take home the bronze medals. The Men’s Foil team gold was claimed by Qatar after a 45-40 win over Kuwait in the final.
Day 9 of these World Combat Games will see the Riyadh 2023 debuts of Savate in KSU 5, Taekwondo in KSU 1, and Muaythai in KSU 3.
About the World Combat Games:
The World Combat Games are an international multi-sport event featuring the best athletes in combat sports and martial arts. They were established to celebrate the athletes and values of these sports in one place, and to expose them to an international audience. The World Combat Games concept aims for a compact and manageable event that offers cities an opportunity for focused international promotion, engagement with local communities (in particular young people), and the advancement of public health and wellness agendas through inspiring initiatives encouraging participation in combat sports.
In total, over 1,500 athletes from 120+ countries are competing in 16 martial arts and combat sports at Riyadh 2023.
Interested in watching the World Combat Games? Check out the full list of broadcasters in 100+ countries and territories here. The competition is also being live-streamed on the Riyadh 2023 World Combat Games’ official website.