Athlete Yousef Masrahi claims Saudi Arabia’s 1st gold at 19th Asian Games

Saudi athletes Yousef Masrahi and Hussein Al-Hizam holding their medals, a gold in the 400-meters race and a bronze in the pole vault, respectively, that they claimed in 19th Asian Games on Saturday. (Supplied)
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Updated 30 September 2023
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Athlete Yousef Masrahi claims Saudi Arabia’s 1st gold at 19th Asian Games

  • Saudi pole vaulter Hussein Al-Hizam wins first bronze in Asian Games with a jump of 5.65m
  • Hamoud Al-Elwani qualifies for long jump finals with 7.46m leap in first group semifinals

HANGZHOU, China: Saudi athlete Yousef Masrahi has claimed the Kingdom’s first gold medal at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou with victory in the 400-meters final on Saturday.
The Asian record holder won with a time of 45.55 seconds, repeating his victory in the 17th Asian Games in Incheon in 2014 when he won Saudi Arabia’s first gold medal in the same race.
Saturday’s victory marks Masrahi’s third medal in Asian Games. He won his first bronze in the 400-meters in Guangzhou in 2010 before winning gold in Incheon in 2014.
“The support of the Saudi audience was a great incentive for me to achieve the gold medal. I thank my parents for their support. I also thank my national coach Hamdan Al-Bishi, who worked hard to prepare me for this edition for over a year,” Masrahi said following his victory.
He also thanked Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, the Saudi Arabian Olympic and Paralympic Committee president, and his deputy Prince Fahd bin Jalawi for their support for Saudi sports.
Saudi pole vaulter Hussein Al-Hizam won his first bronze medal in the Asian Games with a jump of 5.65 meters on Saturday.
Al-Hizam said he is confident his Saudi teammates will win more medals in the remaining days of the Games, being held in Hangzhou in China.
Athletes Raed Al-Jedaani and Faisal Al-Subaiei qualified for the finals of the 1,500-meters race. Al-Jedaani finished first in the semifinals with a time of 3:51 minutes, while Al-Subaiei finished fourth with a time of 3:56 minutes.
Hamoud Al-Elwani qualified for the finals of the long jump with a 7.46-meter jump in the first group semifinals.
Injury forced sprinter Nasser Mahmoud to pull out of the 100 meters semifinals. His teammate Abdullah Abkar finished fourth with a time of 10.21 seconds.
In the 10,000 meters, Tareq Al-Omari finished seventh with a time of 28:46 minutes.
In the hammer throw final, Mohammed Al-Dubaisi finished 10th with a throw of 65.95 meters, while his teammate Mohammed Al-Zayer finished 12th with a distance of 62.5 meters.
Basketball:
The Saudi basketball team defeated the UAE 74-67 in the first group and qualified for the second round after finishing second behind Iran in first group. Iran defeated Kazakhstan 86-60. Each group’s first two teams will qualify in addition to the top four teams that rank third.Asian 


World Fencing Championship for youngsters starts in Riyadh on Friday

Updated 11 April 2024
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World Fencing Championship for youngsters starts in Riyadh on Friday

  • Competition begins with foil fencing for participants under 20 years
  • 54 referees from around the world will officiate

RIYADH: The Cadet and Junior World Fencing Championship begins on Friday in the Arena Hall at King Saud University, Riyadh.
More than 1,700 fencers from more than 100 countries will be participating at the event, which concludes on April 20.
The championship starts at 8 a.m. with foil fencing for participants under 20 years, while the opening ceremony is at 5 p.m. and includes players, referees, a visual presentation about fencing, and a parade of the teams’ flags.
WFC’s organizing committee began its preparations for the event by issuing visas; selecting 15 hotels for the delegations of the teams and committees in the international federation; and assigning 30 buses to transport players from the hotels to training venues and competition halls.
The committee has also prepared 60 courts to the highest standards to comply with the International Fencing Federation.
The event will be officiated by 54 referees from around the world.
The championship is expected to attract global attention and media coverage, and its prestige will help in the pursuit of achieving the goals of Vision 2030 that aim to transform Saudi Arabia into a global destination for hosting major competitions and events.
Attendance for spectators at the Arena Hall is free of charge.


Young Saudi athletes prepare for first Gulf Youth Games

Updated 09 April 2024
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Young Saudi athletes prepare for first Gulf Youth Games

  • 145 men and 33 women will represent the Kingdom in 20 sports at the event, hosted by the UAE between April 16 and May 2

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will be represented by 178 athletes when the first Gulf Youth Games gets underway this month. The UAE is hosting the inaugural event, which begins on April 16 and continues until May 2.
In total, 3,500 athletes representing Gulf Cooperation Council countries will compete for medals in 24 individual and team sports.
The Kingdom will be represented by 145 men and 33 women in 20 of those sports: handball, volleyball, basketball, athletics, swimming, judo, fencing, archery, cycling, badminton, billiards, karate, taekwondo, chess, jujitsu, boxing, equestrianism, golf, e-sports, and paralympic events.
The Saudi athletes are making their final preparations at internal and external training camps, officials said. This first-ever event of its kind in the Gulf region comes in the run-up to the 33rd Summer Olympics in Paris, which will begin on July 26.


LIV Golf captain Stenson headlines field full of stars as 2024 Saudi Open returns to Riyadh

Updated 09 April 2024
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LIV Golf captain Stenson headlines field full of stars as 2024 Saudi Open returns to Riyadh

  • Stenson is determined to lift the trophy this time after catapulting himself into second place with a final round 65 at the 2023 Saudi Open
  • ‘I am thrilled to be returning to Riyadh to play in the Saudi Open. I loved the atmosphere on my first visit to what is an incredible golf course,’ says Stenson

RIYADH: Five fellow LIV Golf members will join captain Henrik Stenson at the 2024 Saudi Open, presented by the Public Investment Fund, that will return to Riyadh Golf Club from Apr. 17-20, 2024.
A number of DP World Tour players, including Rafa Cabrera-Bello, and the stars of the Asian Tour are also scheduled to join.
The eighth edition in December 2023 was the first time the tournament featured as a fully sanctioned Asian Tour event and saw Thai rising star Denwit Boriboonsub finish on 18-under-par, three shots ahead of 2016 Open Championship winner Stenson.
The 20-year-old has confirmed he will return to defend his title when the Asian Tour tees off after a five-week break in the Saudi capital.
Stenson, after catapulting himself into second place with a final round 65 at the 2023 Saudi Open, is determined to lift the trophy this time.
He said: “I am thrilled to be returning to Riyadh to play in the Saudi Open. I loved the atmosphere on my first visit to what is an incredible golf course, and I am very excited to experience that again.
“The facilities are highly impressive and highlight the strides that golf in Saudi Arabia continues to make,” added Stenson, who expects another strong and testing tournament against a field full of quality players.
“I am eager to go one better than last year and lift the trophy,” he said.
Building on last year’s successful hosting, the 2024 Saudi Open presented by PIF will once again see a strong LIV Golf contingent battle for the trophy as Andy Ogletree, Peter Uihlein, Eugenio Chacarra and David Puig join Majesticks joint-team captain Stenson and his former European Ryder Cup teammate Cabrera-Bello in Riyadh.
Puig, who won the season-opening Malaysian Open, currently tops the Asian Tour Order of Merit ahead of second-placed John Catlin from the US — winner of the recent International Series Macau presented by Wynn, where he shot the tour’s first-ever 59.
Asian Tour Commissioner and CEO Cho Minn Thant said: “We are delighted to be going back to Riyadh for the Saudi Open. The event proved an excellent addition to the Asian Tour having been elevated from the Asian Development Tour, and Riyadh Golf Club provided us with a perfect setting to end 2023.
“In Golf Saudi, we have a trusted partner who we are confident will deliver another fantastic tournament.”
Golf Saudi will again show its commitment to ensuring opportunities for everyone with a number of spots reserved for local Saudi and Arab golfers to compete in the tournament.
The Saudi Open presented by PIF is the fifth stop of the season on the Asian Tour.


Al-Hilal defensive duo Koulibaly and Al-Bulayhi hailed for frustrating red carded Ronaldo

Updated 09 April 2024
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Al-Hilal defensive duo Koulibaly and Al-Bulayhi hailed for frustrating red carded Ronaldo

  • Al-Hilal beat Al-Nassr 2-1 in Saudi Super Cup semifinal on Monday night in Abu Dhabi and now play Al-Ittihad in Thursday’s final
  • ‘Koulibaly and Ali are the two best defenders in Saudi football’: Al-Hilal boss Jorge Jesus

ABU DHABI: Jorge Jesus praised defensive duo Kalidou Koulibaly and Ali Al-Bulayhi for shutting out Cristiano Ronaldo as Al-Hilal reached the Saudi Super Cup final by defeating Riyadh rivals Al-Nassr 2-1 on Monday night in Abu Dhabi.

Al-Hilal recorded their third victory over Al-Nassr this season with second-half goals from Salem Al-Dawsari and Malcom, rendering Sadio Mane’s injury-time strike a mere consolation.

It was also the third time in succession that Ronaldo has not scored against Al-Hilal — with his night of frustration at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium compounded by a late red card. The Portuguese star was sent off for elbowing Saudi Arabian international Al-Bulayhi after a coming together on the touchline.

His compatriot, Al-Hilal boss Jorge Jesus, admitted he was not completely surprised Ronaldo lost his cool, referencing previous times the player has been sent off. However, Jesus was keen to highlight the contribution of defenders Al-Bulayhi and Senegalese powerhouse Koulibaly in extinguishing the threat of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

“Cristiano is a big player,” Jesus said. “He is a reference point in world football. It’s true he is used to being a winner and he is not used to losing. Sometimes losses come with the risk of emotion that puts him in these moments where it’s a red card. But he remains a huge player. Even in the match (on Monday) you can see his speed and ability in the air, and you can see he’s such an experienced player.

“We have the two best defenders in Saudi football: Koulibaly and Ali. It’s so difficult to play against them and we can’t take any credit away from them in the way that they stopped the danger that Cristiano can make.”

Al-Hilal’s world record winning run — the 2-1 triumph makes it 33 in succession — continues, despite the absence of attacking stars Neymar, who has been out since October and will not play again this season, and Serbian forward Aleksandar Mitrovic through injury. The striker will be absent until mid-May with a hamstring issue.

Jesus added: “The important thing is that we again ran out with a victory. We knew that Al-Nassr would play with a system more like a five-man defensive line. The first half was balanced, but in the second half we showed strength physically and collectively which gave us the victory and we could have scored three or four more. Congratulations to the players. Again, we have made a victory even with the absence of Neymar and Mitrovic.”

Al-Hilal now face Al-Ittihad in the Saudi Super Cup final on Thursday night at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in the UAE capital after Marcelo Gallardo’s team beat Al-Wehda 2-1 in the competition’s other semifinal. Karim Benzema struck in the first minute at Al-Nayhan Stadium in Abu Dhabi and Abderrazak Hamdallah doubled the lead shortly before half-time. Hussain Al-Eisa dinked home a consolation in injury time minutes after Al-Wehda’s Faycal Fajr struck a penalty high over the bar.

Benzema said: “It was a good game and it’s good to go to the final. We have some days to rest before the final. It’s good for me, it’s good for the club. It’ll be difficult (but) it’s about the trophy.”


International Fencing Camp to prepare for 2024 World Fencing Championship in Riyadh

Updated 07 April 2024
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International Fencing Camp to prepare for 2024 World Fencing Championship in Riyadh

  • About 1,700 male and female fencers will represent more than 100 countries during WFC
  • Championship’s CEO Abdullah Alsunaid confirmed the readiness of the organizing committee for the tournament to start

RIYADH: The training sessions of the International Fencing Camp started on Saturday at King Saud University’s Arena Hall in Riyadh in preparation for the 2024 World Fencing Championship.

About 1,700 male and female fencers will represent more than 100 countries during the WFC, which the Saudi capital hosts between April 12 and April 20.

The International Fencing Federation and WFC’s organizing committee are co-organizing the camp until April 10. Participating teams will have daily morning and evening training sessions lasting an average of six hours.

The championship’s CEO, Abdullah Alsunaid, confirmed the readiness of the organizing committee for the tournament to start, after all participating teams joined the international camp. He confirmed the preparation of 60 fields for the competitions, in addition to meeting all the camp’s needs.

Alsunaid said that the International Fencing Federation paid great attention to developing the players’ levels and their readiness before the tournament began.