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‘The taste of winning gold is priceless’: Saudi female fighters conquer World Combat Games 2023 in Riyadh

“This is the best meeting place for the combat sports community, where athletes from different sports and nations, have now become new friends. For young females like us, I appreciate the enriching experience I’ve had here, both in boxing and other martial arts. The taste of winning gold is priceless,” said first female boxer Kalthoum Hantoul, as she gifted Saudi Arabia the first female gold medal after beating Haya Alali of UAE 5-0 in Boxing Women’s 50kg.

The World Combat Games Riyadh 2023, hosted for the first time in the Middle East after a 10-year break, is underway since 20 October, and will continue till 30 October in just one venue, King Saud University Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


The World Combat Games Riyadh 2023 is considered the only event that brings Olympic, Paralympic and Special Olympic athletes, Independent National Athletes, and a big presence of females in one place to compete together within the same medal tally, recording over 814 females out of 1800 athletes in total.

Saudi female delegation at the World Combat Games Riyadh 2023 celebrates on podium (WCG Riyadh 2023)


Boasting a strong female presence, 15 medals were achieved by women out of 38 in total for Saudi Arabia at the end of competition day five, thus leading the total standings of the World Combat Games medal by number.


“I think more women should be participating in fencing at World Combat Games,” said Saudi bronze medallist fencer Ruba Al Masri.

The first almost-all-female Saudi podium was the Fencing Women’s Sabre individual, as Saudi’s first female fencing medal in a World Combat Games came from Dana Al-Qahtani, as she stood on the podium together with two of her compatriots Hasna Al Hammad (silver) and Ruba Al Masri (bronze).

The other bronze medal went to UAE’s Mahra Ali.


Ukraine captured the lion’s share of gold medals in the Pankration Wrestling competitions today, with the Men’s team winning 4 golds, and in the same competitions, another two golds for the women’s, as Ukrainian Anna Bezinar and Daria Chepisova both claimed gold in the 53kg and 65kg respectively.

L-R: Ruba Al Masri (KSA) VS Hasna Al Hammad (KSA) fight at the semifinals of Women’s Sabre individual of the World Combat Games Riady 2023 (WCG Riyadh 2023).

L-R: Ruba Al Masri (KSA) VS Hasna Al Hammad (KSA) fight at the semifinals of Women’s Sabre individual of the World Combat Games Riady 2023 (WCG Riyadh 2023).

Today, Thursday, the competitions for 4 sports continue, as Belt Wrestling competitions will conclude with the participation of 80 male and female players. The competition will be in 10 weights: 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, and 90 kg for men, and weights of 55, 60, 65, and 70 kg for women.

The jiu-jitsu competitions will also conclude today, which will witness the Paralympic competitions, starting with weight categories of under -73 kg, -84 kg, and -85 kg for men, weights under 60 kg for women, and mixed teams.


Al-Abed, a fencing-obsessed Saudi family was fully present at the fencing competitions in the World Combat Games, where fencing sport Medical Committee Head, Dr. Hazem Abed, witnessed his son Faisal compete in the Men’s Epee category final, while his daughter Nada, won the bronze medal in the Women’s Epee competition.

His other son, Hassan, and his daughter, Areej, also practice fencing professionally.

Below are the names of the Saudi female medallists at the end of competition day five:

Kalthoum Hantoul (KSA) Women’s 50kg Gold
Hala Alrashidi (KSA) Women’s 54kg Silver
Hadeel Ashour (KSA) Women’s 60kg Bronze

Fawzya Alkhibiri (KSA) Women’s Epee individual silver
Nada Abed (KSA) Women’s Epee individual bronze
Dhay Al Amiri (KSA) Women’s Epee individual bronze

Danah Al Qahtani (KSA) Women’s Sabre individual gold
Hasna Al Hammad (KSA) Women’s Sabre individual silver
Ruba Al Masri (KSA) Women’s Sabre individual bronze

Sumayah Munshi (KSA) Women’s 52kg bronze
Sarah Abduljawad (KSA) Women’s 60 kg silver
Zainab Alghamdi (KSA) Women’s 70kg bronze

Credit: AIPS Media

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