Stars look forward to return of LIV Golf Jeddah in March

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Smash GC captain and LIV Golf Jeddah 2023 individual champion Brooks Koepka celebrates with the trophy (Supplied)
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2023 LIV Golf Jeddah team champions Fireballs GC (Abraham Ancer, Eugenio Chacarra, Captain Sergio Garcia, Carlos Ortiz) pose together after the final round of LIV Golf Jeddah at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club. (Supplied)
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Updated 24 January 2024
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Stars look forward to return of LIV Golf Jeddah in March

  • More details revealed about this year’s competition, which will again take place at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club and be the 3rd event of the 14-event 2024 season
  • Competitors will include 2023 Masters champion Jon Rahm, and 2-time LIV Golf Jeddah winner Brooks Koepka, who said he looks forward to defending his title

JEDDAH: Following the confirmation this month that LIV Golf is set to return to Royal Greens Golf and Country Club at King Abdullah Economic City in Jeddah, more details have emerged about the event and some of the stars who will compete have spoken of their excitement about returning to the city.
The third LIV Golf Jeddah will take place from Mar. 1 to 3 and organizers said it will feature some of the biggest names in the sport, including: 2023 Masters Champion Jon Rahm; 2023 LIV Golf Individual Champion Talor Gooch, with his new team, Smash GC; 2023 PGA Championship winner, and five-time major champion, Brooks Koepka, also of Smash GC; 2020 US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau, with 2023 LIVE Golf Team Champions Crushers GC; 2022 Open Champion Cameron Smith with Ripper GC; six-time major winner and World Golf Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson with HyFlyers GC; and two-time major winners Dustin Johnson (4Aces GC), Bubba Watson (RangeGoats GC) and Martin Kaymer (Cleeks GC).
Koepka is very familiar with Royal Greens, having won LIV Golf Jeddah there in each of the past two years. He will defend the title he won in October last year in a dramatic playoff against Gooch, who now joins him on team Smash following an offseason trade.
“Royal Greens is somewhere I’ve had success before and to win last year, beating Talor in the playoff, who had a great season, was a great way to finish the season,” said Koepka.
“I look forward to returning to Jeddah in March, with Talor as a teammate, to hopefully claim the Jeddah individual and team titles.”
LIV Golf Jeddah will be the third event of the international 14-event 2024 season, which showcases LIV Golf’s innovative format in which the world’s best golfers compete both individually and as teams over three days.
Fireballs GC, featuring captain Sergio Garcia, Abraham Ancer, Eugenio Chacarra and former Torque GC player David Puig — who signed for the team as a free agent during the offseason to replace Carlos Ortiz, who moved to Torque — will return to Royal Greens as defending team champions.
“LIV Golf Jeddah was the site of our second team victory in 2023 and capped off a fantastic first full season for Fireballs GC,” said Garcia.
“We can’t wait to make our return to Royal Greens as a team, defend our title, and look forward to the incredible support of fans in Saudi Arabia for what is always a great event.”
In addition to the action on the course, organizers said the event will once again feature the popular Beach Club, a daily fireworks display, a vibrant fan village with activities for fans of all ages, and a wide range of food and beverage options.
Single-day and three-day grounds passes for LIV Golf Jeddah are available at LIVGolf.com, and include access to all fan activities.


FEI World Cup comes to Riyadh: Meet the Saudi riders

Updated 15 April 2024
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FEI World Cup comes to Riyadh: Meet the Saudi riders

  • Riyadh will be hosting the prestigious FEI event for the first time since winning the bid in 2019

RIYADH: The Saudi Arabian capital is gearing up to welcome the global equestrian community for the Federation Equestre Internationale Jumping World Cup Finals this weekend.

Riyadh will be hosting the prestigious FEI event for the first time since winning the bid in 2019. According to the international body, it is also a first for the Arabian peninsula region.

The finals will run from April 17 to April 20 at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center, with a total prize pool of €2.6 million ($2.7 million) up for grabs.

Three Saudi champions who qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics — Abdullah Al-Sharbatly, Ramzy Al-Duhami and Khaled Al-Motby — will compete in this weekend’s showjumping competition.

Arab News joined the riders behind the scenes at the stables, as the pressure mounts for the trio to secure their country a medal.

“I’ve got my, superstars, my best friends, Alamo and Fiumicino, two horses,” Al-Sharbatly said.

The 41-year-old Olympic medallist was part of the showjumping team that won Saudi Arabia a bronze medal during the 2012 London Olympics. In late 2023, he secured his sixth Asian gold medal.

Riyadh will be hosting the prestigious FEI event for the first time since winning the bid in 2019. (AN Photo/Abdulrahman bin Shulhub)

Despite this impressive record, Al-Sharbatly believes that fate also plays a part.

“In any sport you can’t win every day. And you also need a little bit of luck,” he said. “So it could be my show and it can be also that I want to have the best luck in this show.”

For Al-Sharbatly, the most important thing is that he will be surrounded by the animals he loves.

“I have so much love for horses,” he said. “Even if I don’t ride, it’s not a problem, but I have to be surrounded with horses every day.”

Al-Duhami said: “As you grow older in this sport, you get more experience and your goals change.”

The 52-year-old Saudi Olympic medalist, a revered rider in the Kingdom, has competed for decades, dating back to the 1980s. He competed in the 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, where he received the bronze medal with the Saudi team.

“It’s not anymore about winning any event, but you want to win this big, major event, and then your focus becomes that, instead of just winning every weekend and trying to get a result every weekend,” he said.

Al-Duhami said that there was “a lot of hope” for the coming finals, though the focus has been the Olympics. He described his horse, Untouchable 32, as a “very good Olympic-caliber horse.”

He has witnessed the equestrian scene develop first-hand. From first discovering horses as a child through his late father, who financially invested in horses for him, to now watching the federation take on that crucial, parental-like role for the younger generation.

Three Saudi champions who qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics — Abdullah Al-Sharbatly, Ramzy Al-Duhami and Khaled Al-Motby — will compete in this weekend’s showjumping competition. (AN Photo/Abdulrahman bin Shulhub) 

For Al-Duhami, the World Cup is more than just a sports milestone for Saudi Arabia.

“Bringing this event to Saudi is is one step, for this young generation to come and see their role models in front of their eyes,” he said.

“And seeing their home country riders competing will give them the ambition and the possibility to think that ‘OK, now we can do it.”

Al-Duhami believes that hosting this event will enable a rich cultural exchange that can contribute in positive ways to the growth of the equestrian scene in Saudi Arabia.

“There is a lot of talent. The Saudi riders are very talented, and if they have given the chance to come and compete, they will always perform,” he said.

One of the riders Al-Duhami referred to is Al-Mobty. At only 25-years-old, Al-Mobty will be rubbing shoulders with the Kingdom’s and Arab world’s best competitors, as well as international champions, over the course of the weekend.

In 2018, he, together with Al-Sharbatly and Al-Duhami, brought home a gold medal from the Asian Games in Jakarta.

He described the results as one of his proudest achievements, coupled with the “gold medal in Ashgabat with the Saudi team, a silver medal in the Ashgabat tournament. Winning an individual gold medal in the Saudi Games Championship and winning a team gold medal in the Saudi Games Championship.”

This weekend’s tournament is indoors, which can pose a challenge for some showjumpers.

“They are always the hardest due to space limitations, and there will be greater pressure on the horses since it is a closed venue with an unfamiliar audience,” Al-Mobty said.

Al-Mobty said that despite these hurdles, he is hopeful that they will all perform well.


Day 3 of Fencing World Championships sees new champions

Vctorious women’s under-20 foil team was honored during the ongoing event in Riyadh. SPA
Updated 15 April 2024
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Day 3 of Fencing World Championships sees new champions

  • The American team dominated the men’s under-20 foil team

Riyadh: Abdullah Al-Sunaid, CEO of the 2024 Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championships, crowned the victorious women’s under-20 foil team during the ongoing event in Riyadh. 

The Japanese team emerged triumphant, securing the gold medal after a thrilling victory over Italy, who won silver. The Republic of Korea claimed the bronze, with France also clinching bronze and securing the third position in the intense competitions held at the King Saud University Sports Arena.

In the men’s events, Mohammed Chaouchi, president of the Tunisian Fencing Federation, honored the winners of the third day. The American team dominated the men’s under-20 foil team, seizing the gold medal by defeating Italy, who took silver. Japan secured the bronze, while France also claimed the bronze and secured the third spot on the podium.


Vibrant Sajah Bazaar, live music as Eid meets golf to entertain 2024 Saudi Open fans

Updated 13 April 2024
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Vibrant Sajah Bazaar, live music as Eid meets golf to entertain 2024 Saudi Open fans

  • Sajah Bazaar to headline 2024 Saudi Open fan zone at Riyadh Golf Club
  • Fan zone will provide food, drinks from around the world

RIYADH: Visitors to this year’s Saudi Open golf tournament will also be able to enjoy live music and fireworks at the Riyadh Golf Club.
The four-day championship starts on Wednesday and as well as top-class sport promises plenty of family fun.
LIV Golf captain Henrik Stenson will headline the field, which also includes some of the leading players on the Asian Tour, like last year’s Saudi Open winner Denwit Boriboonsub.
Each day of the tournament, from 4-11 p.m., visitors will be able to visit the Sajah Bazaar where they can buy local goods like textiles and jewelry.
There will also be lots to do in the fan zone, including golf driving and putting challenges, Panna soccer, Teqball, food and drink from around the world and a children’s area.
There are also some great prizes up for grabs, with Al-Rajhi Takaful donating 50 car insurance vouchers worth SR1,000 ($267), while two lucky ticket holders will see their general admission tickets upgraded to hospitality tickets and get the chance to watch world class golf from the best seats in the house.
Two winners will be randomly selected daily, while each person who takes a photo of a golfer on the Al-Rajhi teebox and posts it to social media with #Golf&More will be entered into the prize draw to win car insurance.
The fan zone opens on Wednesday and Thursday from 1-11 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.


ICRF concludes participation in SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit in Birmingham

Updated 12 April 2024
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ICRF concludes participation in SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit in Birmingham

  • Federation was seeking to promote camel sports globally
  • Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, minister of sports and chairman of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee, visited pavilion

RIYADH: The International Camel Racing Federation has concluded its participation in the SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit that took place in Birmingham from April 7-11.
The ICRF was seeking to promote camel sports around the world by being present at the event.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, the minister of sports and chairman of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee, visited the federation’s pavilion on Tuesday, where he received an award that was presented to the SOPC.
Prince Fahad bin Jalawi bin Abdulaziz bin Musaed, ICRF’s president and SOPC’s vice president; Dr. Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee; and Robin Mitchell, president of the Association of National Olympic Committees, were present at the award presentation.
Prince Fahad said: “We are pleased with what the federation’s pavilion presented at this summit, which around 1,500 leaders and key decision-makers from over 120 international federations attended.”
Participation at the event helped publicize camel sports which, according to the ICRF’s president, have a large role in Saudi culture and are a big part of the nation’s identity.
Prince Fahad added: “The federation’s goal through this participation was to shed light on the sport of our fathers and ancestors, which Arab countries have known since ancient times until it became part of their societies.”


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.